Combinatorial Investigations of Polymer Adhesion

Alfred J. Crosby, Alamgir Karim, Eric J. Amis

Multivariant Measurements Group, Polymers Division, NIST

Combinatorial measurement methods allow material properties to be investigated in a multivariable space. These techniques could be especially attractive for investigating polymer adhesion that is determined by the complex coupling of bulk and interfacial contributions. We have developed high-throughput techniques to study the effects of variables such as composition, temperature, crosslinking, and thickness at polymer interfaces. Specifically, our technique involves an array of elastic probes contacting a substrate and monitoring their relative displacement and the corresponding array of contact areas. Along each axis of the array/substrate library we vary an independent variable such as temperature, chemical treatment, or composition. With this library design and an analysis method based on the theory of Johnson, Kendall, and Roberts (JKR), we determine the dependence of interfacial integrity on multivariable conditions. The results on the effect of temperature and thickness on the self-adhesion of polystyrene and adhesion between polystyrene and poly(dimethylsiloxane) are presented.

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