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Title: Structure-Property Relationships of Polymer Brushes in Restricted Geometries and their Utilization as Ultra-Low Lubricants

Though polymer films are widely used to modify or tailor the physical, chemical and mechanical properties of interfaces in both solid and liquid systems, the rational design of interface- or surface-active polymer modifiers has been hampered by a lack of information about the behavior and structure-property relationships of this class of molecules. This is especially true for systems in which the role of the polymer is to modify the interaction between two solid surfaces in intimate contact and under load, to cause them to be mechanically coupled (e.g. to promote adhesion and wetting) or to minimize their interaction (e.g. lubrication, colloidal stabilization, etc.). Detailed structural information on these systems has largely been precluded by the many difficulties and challenges associated with direct experimental measurements of polymer structure in these geometries. As a result, many practitioners have been forced to employ indirect measurements or rely wholly on theoretical modeling. This has resulted in an incomplete understanding of the structure-property relationships, which are relied upon for the rational design of improved polymer modifiers. Over the course of this current research program, we made direct measurements of the structure of polymers at the interface between two solid surfaces under confinement and elucidated themore » fundamental physics behind these phenomena using atomistic and coarse grained simulations. The research has potential to lead to new lubricants and wear reducing agents to improve efficiency.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Final report: DOE-UCDavis--46340
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE lubrication; friction; neutron reflectivity; polymer brush