Europhys. Lett.
Volume 69, Number 2, January 2005
Page(s) 242 - 248
Section Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 17 December 2004
Europhys. Lett., 69 (2), pp. 242-248 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10325-0

Adsorption forces on a single polymer molecule in contact with a solid surface

F. Hanke1, L. Livadaru1, 2 and H. J. Kreuzer1

1  Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University Halifax, NS, Canada, B3H 3J5
2  National Institute for Nanotechnology, W6-087 ECERF, University of Alberta 9107-116 St, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2V4

received 17 May 2004; accepted in final form 8 November 2004
published online 17 December 2004

A statistical mechanical model is presented to explain recent atomic force microscope (AFM) measurements on the equilibrium forces on a polymer chain adsorbed on a surface with one end attached to the AFM tip. We explore the dependence of this adsorption force on the depth and range of the surface potential and the characteristics of the polymer chain. We show that the force distribution is likely due to energetic surface inhomogeneities. The effect of thermodynamic force fluctuations is also discussed.

68.43.De - Statistical mechanics of adsorbates.
82.35.Gh - Polymers on surfaces; adhesion.
82.37.-j - Single molecule kinetics.

© EDP Sciences 2005