Weizmann Main

Polymers and complex fluids at interfaces

Prof. Jacob Klein

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Our group is studying the behaviour of simple and of polymeric molecules at surfaces, interfaces and thin films.

The two main experimental approaches we use are Surface-force balances (SFB), and Nuclear Reaction Analysis (NRA). The SFB allows us to measure directly the forces between two surfaces at separations of down to only a few angstroms, with state of the art resolution and sensitivity. The NRA technique, carried out using a 3MV van de Graaff particle accelerator, allows us to probe the composition vs. depth profile in thin films of multicomponent mixtures with a resolution of a few nanometres. In addition several more conventional complementary techniques are utilised.

Using these direct experimental approaches we have carried out fundamental studies of the behaviour at interfaces of a large number of systems, as indicated in the related projects and publications. Our work has implications for a wide range of applications, including for example colloidal stabilisation (as in pharmaceuticals, ferrofluids, paints etc.); friction and lubrication; and wetting, dewetting and thin film stability (as in detergents, microlithography for integrated circuits, and conducting polymer films).


Keywords relevant to our projects (click to go to recent related publications):

Polymers at interfaces Steric stabilisation Surface force balance (SFB)
Nuclear reaction analysis (NRA) and Composition depth profiling Polymer diffusion Friction and lubrication
Polymer lubricants Wetting and dewetting Finite size effects
Confinement-induced phase transitions Thin films Adsorbed and grafted polymers
Surface segregation from mixtures Polymer thermodynamics Liquid crystals



Recent and ongoing projects

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last updated on 09/01