Switchable friction using asymmetric contacts of stimulus-responsive and non-responsive polymer brushes

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Stimulus responsive (SR), solvated polymers can switch between an expanded and a collapsed conformation via external stimuli. Using molecular dynamics simulations and atomic force microscopy experiments, we show that such SR polymers can be employed to control the frictional response of two opposing polymer brushes in relative sliding motion. By using a brush composed of SR polymers in contact with a non-responsive polymer brush, the overlap between the opposing brushes can be switched ON/OFF: When both brushes are swollen, polymers of the opposing brushes interdigitate, which results in high friction upon shearing. In contrast, when the SR brush is collapsed, the solvent maximizes the interaction with the non-responsive brush. The latter circumvents both brushes from interdigitating, which results in low friction upon shearing.
Period3 Apr 2014
Event titleDPG Frühjahrstagung 2014 Dresden: (DPG Spring Meeting)
Event typeConference
OrganiserDeutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
LocationDresden, GermanyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • METIS-307559