When tethered chains meet free ones: the stability of polymer wetting films on polymer brushes

J.H. Maas, F.A.M. Leermakers, G.J. Fleer, M.A. Cohen Stuart

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We present a combined experimental and theoretical self-consistent field (SCF) investigation of the wetting behavior of a polystyrene melt (composed of chains with degree of polymerization P) on top of a polystyrene brush (composed of chains with length N) grafted onto a silica surface. The control variables are the grafting density of the brush chains and the length of mobile chains P. Experiments show in agreement with the theory that there is a window of complete wetting. Both at very low and at high grafting densities the system remains partial wet. At large degree of polymerization P, there is a difference between the experimental and theoretical results. Theory predicts partial wetting only, whereas the window of complete wetting persists in the experiments even when P >> N. This difference is attributed to the double-well structure of the disjoining pressure as revealed by the SCF theory. With this type of disjoining pressure it is conceivable that a metastable zero contact angle remains present for very long times.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)69-79
    JournalMacromolecular Symposia
    Volume191
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Keywords

    • thin liquid-films
    • pattern-formation

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