Scientific Results

Surface rippling induced by periodic instabilities on a polymer surface

Year: 2015

Authors: Gnecco E., Pedraz P., Nita P., Dinelli F., Napolitano S., Pingue P.

Autors Affiliation: IMDEA Nanociencia, Campus Universitario de Cantoblanco, Calle Faraday 9, E-28049 Madrid, Spain; Institute of Physics, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, pl. M. Curie-Skłodowskiej 1, 20-031 Lublin, Poland; INO-CNR-via Moruzzi 1, I-56124 Pisa, Italy; Laboratory of Polymer and Soft Matter Dynamics, Faculté des Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Boulevard du Triomphe CP 223, Bâtiment NO, B-1050 Bruxelles, Belgium; Laboratorio NEST-Scuola Normale Superiore, and Istituto Nanoscienze—CNR, Piazza San Silvestro 12, I-56127 Pisa, Italy

Abstract: When the shear stress on a compliant surface exceeds the yield strength of the material, a periodic wrinkle pattern is often observed. This phenomenon has been also recognized at the nanometer scale on polymers, metals, ionic crystals and semiconductors. In those cases, the mechanical stress can be efficiently provided by a sharp indenter elastically driven at constant velocity along the surface. Here we suggest that the formation of such surface ripples can be explained by the competition between the driving spring force and the plastic response of the substrate. In particular, we show how the ripples are expected to disappear when the indentation rate is below a critical value or, alternatively, when the sliding velocity or the lateral stiffness of the contact are too high. The model results are compared to atomic force microscopy experiments on a solvent-enriched polystyrene surface, where the rippling formation is enhanced at room temperature, compared to bulk melts. A similar approach could be employed to describe rippling phenomena on larger scales.

Journal/Review: NEW JOURNAL OF PHYSICS

Volume: 17      Pages from: 032001  to: 032001

More Information: The Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Project No. MAT2012-38810) is gratefully acknowledged for financial support. This work is supported in part by COST Action MP1303.
KeyWords: surface patterning; Prandtl-Tomlinson model; polystyrene; ripples; atomic force microscopy
DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/17/3/032001

Citations: 9
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