Surface-Grafted Poly(ionic liquid) that Lubricates in Both Non-polar and Polar Solvents

David Burgess, Na Li, Nicole Rosik, Peter J Fryer, Ian McRobbie, Haining Zhang, Zhenyu J Zhang

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We show that a surface-grafted polymer brush, 1-n-butyl-3-vinyl imidazolium bromide-based poly(ionic liquids), is able to reduce the interfacial friction by up to 66% and 42% in dodecane and water, respectively. AFM-based force spectroscopy reveals that the polymer brush adopts distinctively different interfacial conformations: swollen in water but collapsed in dodecane. Minimal surface adhesion was observed with both polymer conformations, which can be attributed to steric repulsion as the result of a swollen conformation in water or surface solvation when the hydrophobic fraction of the polymer was exposed to the dodecane. The work brings additional insight on the polymer lubrication mechanism, which expands the possible design of the polymer architecture for interfacial lubrication and modification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-913
Number of pages7
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number7
Early online date28 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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