Is osmotic pressure relevant in the mechanical confinement of a polymer brush?

Stephen B. Abbott, Wiebe M. De Vos*, Laura L E Mears, Beatrice Cattoz, Maximilian W A Skoda, Robert Barker, Robert M. Richardson, Stuart W. Prescott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The structures of polymer brushes under confinement were measured using a combination of neutron reflectivity and a surface force type apparatus. The samples were either poly(ethylene oxide), PEO, used to investigate the effect of the grafting density or poly(acrylic acid), PAA, used to determine the effect of charge on the structure of a polymer brushes under confinement. Without confinement both PEO and PAA brushes are found to be highly swollen with water, >50% v/v, with the expected parabolic brush structure. Compression of the PEO brushes with as little as 0.5 bar of confinement is found experimentally to reduce the brush to a polymer block of uniform density that is significantly dehydrated,

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2224-2234
Number of pages11
JournalMacromolecules
Volume48
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2015

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