Forces between surfaces with weakly end-adsorbed polymers

J. I. Martin, Z. G. Wang, D. Zuckerman, R. Bruinsma, P. Pincus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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 εNa3Φ where e is the end-adsorption energy, N is the degree of polymerization, a is the Kühn 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1111-1121
Number of pages11
JournalJournal de Physique I
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Engineering(all)


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