Europhys. Lett.
Volume 68, Number 4, November 2004
Page(s) 543 - 549
Section Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 20 October 2004
Europhys. Lett., 68 (4), pp. 543-549 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10239-9

Interdigitation between surface-anchored polymer chains and an elastomer: Consequences for adhesion promotion

T. Vilmin1, C. Tardivat1, L. Léger1, H. Brown2 and E. Raphael1

1  Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée, UMR 7125 CNRS 2438 "Matière et Systèmes Complexes", Collège de France - 11 Place Marcelin Berthelot 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
2  Steel Institute, University of Wollongong - Northfields Avenue Wollongong NSW 2522, Australia

received 16 June 2004; accepted in final form 23 September 2004
published online 20 October 2004

We study the adhesion between a crosslinked elastomer and a flat solid surface where polymer chains have been end-grafted. To understand the adhesive feature of such a system, one has to study both the origin of the grafted layer interdigitation with the network, and the end-grafted chains extraction out of the elastomer when it comes unstuck from the solid surface. We shall tackle here the first aspect for which we develop a partial-interdigitation model that lets us analytically predict a critical surface grafting density $\sigma^{*}\simeq
P^{\frac{1}{10}}N^{-\frac{3}{5}}$ beyond which only the thermal fluctuations allow the layer to interdigitate with the elastomer. We then relate this result with recent adhesion measurements.

61.41.+e - Polymers, elastomers, and plastics.
68.08.-p - Liquid-solid interfaces.

© EDP Sciences 2004