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Published August 1997 | public
Journal Article

Forces between Surfaces with Weakly End-Adsorbed Polymers


We study the interaction forces between two plates in a semi-dilute solution of polymers each having one weakly adsorbing end-group. We show that this system exhibits both repulsive and attractive interactions of comparable magnitude and well-separated length scales: when the plate separation is within a range of order the end-to-end distance of the end-adsorbed polymer, repulsion arises with a magnitude of ϵ Φ/Na³ where ϵ is the end-adsorption energy, N is the degree of polymerization, a is the Kuhn length and Φ the volume fraction of the polymer. This repulsion is due to desorption of the end-adsorbed chains. At plate separations of order the correlation length of the solution, a depletion attraction sets in with a magnitude that scales with the bulk osmotic pressure.

Additional Information

© 1997 Les Editions de Physique. Received 9 October 1996, revised 10 April 1997, accepted 22 April 1997.

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August 19, 2023
October 19, 2023