Using surface force balance measurements we have established that polystyrene chains bearing three zwitterionic groups have a higher end-group sticking energy than equivalent chains bearing a single zwitterionic group. In a good solvent, polystyrene chains end-functionalized with three zwitterionic groups form brushes of a higher surface coverage than those bearing a single zwitterion. The increase in surface coverage is slow compared with the initial formation of the brush. Measurements of the refractive index allow us to directly quantify the variation of surface coverage, permitting comparison with models for the kinetics of brush formation based on scaling theory and an analytical self-consistent field. We find qualitative support for associating the kinetic barrier with the energy required for an incoming chain to stretch as it penetrates the existing brush.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry