Effect of solvent quality and chain density on normal and frictional forces between electrostatically anchored thermoresponsive diblock copolymer layers

Junxue An*, Xiaoyan Liu, Andra Dedinaite, Evgeniya Korchagina, Francoise M. Winnik, Per M. Claesson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Equilibration in adsorbing polymer systems can be very slow, leading to different physical properties at a given condition depending on the pathway that was used to reach this state. Here we explore this phenomenon using a diblock copolymer consisting of a cationic anchor block and a thermoresponsive block of poly(2-isopropyl-2-oxazoline), PIPOZ. We find that at a given temperature different polymer chain densities at the silica surface are achieved depending on the previous temperature history. We explore how this affects surface and friction forces between such layers using the atomic force microscope colloidal probe technique. The surface forces are purely repulsive at temperatures <40 °C. A local force minimum at short separation develops at 40 °C and a strong attraction due to capillary condensation of a polymer-rich phase is observed close to the bulk phase separation temperature. The friction forces decrease in the cooling stage due to rehydration of the PIPOZ chain. A consequence of the adsorption hysteresis is that the friction forces measured at 25 °C are significantly lower after exposure to a temperature of 40 °C than prior to heating, which is due to higher polymer chain density on the surface after heating.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume487
Pages (from-to)88-96
Number of pages9
ISSN0021-9797
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • Adsorption hysteresis
  • Boundary lubrication
  • Friction
  • PIPOZ
  • Poly(2-isopropyl-2-oxazoline)
  • Surface forces
  • Thermoresponsive polymer

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