Deformation of grafted polymer layers in strong shear flows

J L Harden, M E Cates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a theoretical approach for studying the deformation of grafted polymer layers in strong shear hows that calculates the deformation of grafted chains and the solvent how profile within the layer in a mutually consistent fashion. We illustrate this approach by considering the deformation of Alexander-de Gennes brushes in simple shear hows. Our model predicts nonuniform deformation of grafted polymer chains and appreciable swelling of brushes for shear rates exceeding tau(-1) similar or equal to k(B)T/(eta xi(0)(3)), the characteristic hydrodynamic relaxation rate of a blob of the unperturbed bursh. An asymptotic swelling of similar to 25% for gamma tau much greater than 1 is predicted, in accordance with theories of brush response to strong applied tangential boundary forces. We briefly compare our results to recent experiments and to theories of brush deformation in shear conditions and outline the generalization of our approach to more realistic models of grafted polymer layers and to adsorbed polymer layers in strong hows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3782-3787
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical review. E, Statistical physics, plasmas, fluids, and related interdisciplinary topics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996


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