Slip effects in polymer thin films.

Department of Experimental Physics, Saarland University, D-66041 Saarbrücken, Germany.
Journal of Physics Condensed Matter (Impact Factor: 2.22). 01/2010; 22(3):033102. DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/22/3/033102
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT Probing the fluid dynamics of thin films is an excellent tool for studying the solid/liquid boundary condition. There is no need for external stimulation or pumping of the liquid, due to the fact that the dewetting process, an internal mechanism, acts as a driving force for liquid flow. Viscous dissipation, within the liquid, and slippage balance interfacial forces. Thus, friction at the solid/liquid interface plays a key role towards the flow dynamics of the liquid. Probing the temporal and spatial evolution of growing holes or retracting straight fronts gives, in combination with theoretical models, information on the liquid flow field and, especially, the boundary condition at the interface. We review the basic models and experimental results obtained during the last several years with exclusive regard to polymers as ideal model liquids for fluid flow. Moreover, concepts that aim to explain slippage on the molecular scale are summarized and discussed.

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    ABSTRACT: Thin liquid films on surfaces are part of our everyday life; they serve, e.g., as coatings or lubricants. The stability of a thin layer is governed by interfacial forces, described by the effective interface potential, and has been subject of many studies in recent decades. In recent years, the dynamics of thin liquid films has come into focus since results on the reduction of the glass transition temperature raised new questions on the behavior of especially polymeric liquids in confined geometries. The new focus was fired by theoretical models that proposed significant implication of the boundary condition at the solid/liquid interface on the dynamics of dewetting and the form of a liquid front. Our study reflects these recent developments and adds new experimental data to corroborate the theoretical models. To probe the solid/liquid boundary condition experimentally, different methods are possible, each bearing advantages and disadvantages, which will be discussed. Studying liquid flow on a variety of different substrates entails a view on the direct implications of the substrate. The experimental focus of this study is the variation of the polymer chain length; the results demonstrate that inter-chain entanglements and in particular their density close to the interface, originating from non-bulk conformations, govern the liquid slip of a polymer.
    Journal of Physics Condensed Matter 05/2012; 24(32):325102, 1-17. · 2.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nanoscale liquid polymer films are ideal candidates to probe the solid/liquid boundary condition: Prepared on hydrophobized Si wafer, the films are not stable, they dewet. The dewetting induces a flow without applying an external force. Probing the dynamics of the dewetting film and the morphology of the liquid front, we can deduce the slip length. A variation of the type of hydrophobic coating (silane or Teflon®) of the Si wafer enables us to tune the boundary condition from a no-slip to a nearly full-slip condition. For a short introduction to the topic, we offer a phenomenological approach and supply multimedia files.
    Journal of Physics Conference Series 04/2010; 216(1):012002.
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    ABSTRACT: Slip behavior of three liquids with distinct molecular shapes--linear (hexadecane), branched (pentaerythritol tetra), and a chain of rings (polyphenylether)--is studied using molecular dynamics simulation and reduced-order modeling. Slip at a liquid-solid interface is shown to be affected by the molecular structure of the liquid. A two-dimensional Frenkel-Kontorova model captures the fundamental structural features of the liquid molecules and gives insight into how molecules flex and slip along the surface. We formulate an approximation to the Peierls-Nabarro energy which incorporates both the position of liquid atoms relative to substrate atoms and molecular flexibility. We find that increased molecular flexibility can lead to reduced slip by allowing the liquid to conform epitaxially to the substrate with only a small energetic penalty. Liquid molecules which are less flexible can conform to the substrate only with greater expense of conformational energy, and so exhibit larger slip.
    Physical Review E 12/2011; 84(6 Pt 2):066311. · 2.31 Impact Factor

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Oliver Bäumchen