Sliding friction with polymer brushes

Rafael Tadmor, Joanna Janik, Jacob Klein, Lewis J. Fetters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Using high-resolution shear force measurements, we examine in detail the frictional drag between rubbing surfaces bearing end-tethered polymeric surfactants (brushes). The drag attains a maximum on initial motion, attributed to elastic stretching of the chains, which falls by a cascade of relaxations to a value characteristic of kinetic friction. This has a very weak velocity dependence, attributed to chain moieties dragging within a self-regulating, mutual interpenetration zone. When sliding stops, the shear stress across the polymer layers decays logarithmically with time, consistent with the relaxation of a network of dangling ends.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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