Identification of mobile species in cationic polymer lubricant layer on silicon oxide from AFM and XPS analyses

Erik Hsiao, Brandon D. Veres, Gregory J. Tudryn, Seong H. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The nanoscale spreading of a cationic polymer lubricant (CPL) film consisting of polydimethylsiloxane with quaternary ammonium salt side chains on a SiO2 surface was studied with the disjoining pressure measurements using atomic force microscopy. CPL shows a monotonic decrease in disjoining pressure as the film thickness increases from 1.3 to 4.5 nm, which suggests stable spreading in this thickness range. Comparing the spreading rates calculated from disjoining pressure and the viscosity of CLP to the self-healing time after tribo-contacts revealed that the ionic form may not be the main mobile species. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis found that the CPL film on SiO2 has about 30% of the quaternary ammonium salts (cationic groups) reduced to tertiary amines (neutral groups). The reduced CPL polymer has much lower viscosity than the original CPL polymer and yields a spreading rate consistent with that measured at the macroscale. Thus, the mobile component in the CPL/SiO2 film responsible for self-healing is concluded to be the reduced tertiary amine components of CPL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6808-6813
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 7 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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