Effect of solvent condition on the dynamic response of polymer brushes

S. M. Kilbey, P. Schorr, M. Tirrell

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The frictional response of two opposing polymer brushes subjected to steady shear was studied as a function of solvent condition and degree of compression using the Surface Forces Apparatus (SFA). The brushes were made by preferential adsorption of polyvinylpryridine polystyrene (PVP-PS) block copolymers adsorbed onto atomically smooth surfaces from a dilute solution of toluene. Extremely parallel lateral motion was imparted to one surface and the response was detected at the opposing brush-covered surface. When the brushes were bathed in a good solvent, it was necessary to strongly compress the layers in order to observe frictional forces transmitted between the surfaces. However, when the solvent was changed to a near-theta solvent, large frictional forces were measured at weaker compressions. The onset of these frictional forces occurred at distances comparable to the distance at which the opposing layers contact one another and rapidly increase as the brushes are compressed. Arguments are advanced that this behavior is attributable to frictional interactions between the polymer chains and the solvent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1998 MRS Fall Meeting - The Symposium 'Advanced Catalytic Materials-1998' - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Nov 30 1998Dec 3 1998


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