Probing Molecular Interactions of Comb-type Polymers in Air/Water/Solids Interfaces

  • Author / Creator
    Zhang, Ling
  • Over the past decade, comb-type copolymers have attracted much attention in polymer chemistry and physics, nanotechnology, bioengineering and industrial applications. Using a surface forces apparatus (SFA), the molecular and surface interactions of two different kinds of comb-type polymers, polystyrene-graft-polyethylene oxide (PS-g-PEO) and polycarboxylate ether (PCE), were investigated under different solution conditions. Long-range repulsive forces were measured between PS-g-PEO films which were due to the steric hindrance between swollen PEO brushes and could be well described by the Alexander–de Gennes (AdG) scaling theory. Molecular forces and rheology study of PCE-kaolinite suspension showed that PCE molecules could induce bridging forces between kaolinite surfaces at low polymer concentration while lead to steric repulsion at high concentration, affected by solution conditions (e.g., pH). The results provide important insights into fundamental understanding of molecular interaction mechanisms of comb-type polymers at air/water/solids interfaces and the development of novel functional polymers/coatings for engineering and biomedical applications.

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  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
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