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News Flash

Nanoparticle coating prevents ice build up

Something old... Something new.... produces an interesting marriage

MIT researchers show how to draw Polyethylene as nanofibers and get a very high thermal conductivity

Stanford researchers use cheap plastics film to make safe lithium batteries

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Norner touts major research project on polymers based on carbon dioxide

Work of North Carolina State Univ. researchers shows how to remove radioactive elements from drinking water

3D systems introduces non-halogenated flame retardant for aircraft applications

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Scientists from IBM and Stanford University are developing new plastics recycling process

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Electric Glue: Another twist to make controlled polymer-surface adhesion

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Electric Glue: Another twist to make controlled polymer-surface adhesion

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Adhesion between the two surfaces depends on surface properties of adhering materials. It is the surface energy (surface tension) which controls the adhesion or the stickiness. One can manipulate the surface chemistry and thereby the interfacial interactions between the two surfaces by nano-scale surface design.

In a recent paper published in Nano Letters, Professor Hermann Gaub’s group at the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich (Germany) experimentally showed how polymer-surface non-covalent interactions can be manipulated by an externally controlled potential in electric glue.   

The team studied three different types of polymers: the neutral polyethylene glycol, 2,2-ionene (containing a positively charged backbone) and a negatively charged biopolymer (DNA) where 3 of the 4 bases contain primary amines.   Experiment was done between three different polymers and gold electrode.  The work is significant as this could open up innovative application possibilities such as biosensors.

What could we expect in the near future exploiting this knowledge?  Possibly, an electric glue design that could be reversible in its bonding properties as required. In other words, the glue could be activated or inactivated utilizing the applied electric potential [please see article at Nano Werk: http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=21210.php ]

[References: A.R. Fornof, M. Erdmann, R. David, and H.E. Gaub;  Nano Lett., 11 (5), pp 1993–1996 (2011)]

DOI: 10.1021/nl200353h