Tunable Friction by Employment of Co-Non-Solvency of PNIPAM Brushes

Yunlong Yu, Marco Cirelli, B.D. Kieviet, Ernst S. Kooij, Gyula J. Vancso, Sissi de Beer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a simple method to control the tribological properties of contacts between polymer brushes and a solid counter surface. We show, using atomic force microscopy (AFM) experiments, that the friction force, upon relative sliding of a poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAM) brush and a gold colloid on an AFM cantilever, varies over two orders of magnitude when changing the composition of an ethanol-water mixture that solvates the brush. We achieve this large variation in friction via a co-non-solvency effect: In pure water or ethanol, the PNIPAM brush is swollen and the friction is low, while in a 10-90 vol % ethanol-water mixture, the brush is partly collapsed and polymer-stretching causes the friction to be high.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-378
JournalPolymer
Volume102
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • IR-101398
  • METIS-317906

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