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Taming the Strength of Interfacial Interactions via Nanoconfinement

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-06-05, 00:00 authored by David Nieto Simavilla, Weide Huang, Caroline Housmans, Michele Sferrazza, Simone Napolitano
The interaction between two immiscible materials is related to the number of contacts per unit area formed by the two materials. For practical reasons, this information is often parametrized by the interfacial free energy, which is commonly derived via rather cumbersome approaches, where properties of the interface are described by combining surface parameters of the single materials. These combining rules, however, neglect any effect that geometry might have on the strength of the interfacial interaction. In this Article, we demonstrate that the number of contacts at the interface between a thin polymer coating and its supporting substrate is altered upon confinement at the nanoscale level. We show that explicitly considering the effect of nanoconfinement on the interfacial potential allows a quantitative prediction of how sample geometry affects the number of contacts formed at the interface between two materials.