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Keywords:

  • adsorption;
  • nanotribology;
  • polymers;
  • single-molecule force spectroscopy;
  • surface patterning
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

There's the rub: Friction of single polymers on solid bodies in a liquid environment was investigated. Apart from expected mechanisms, such as slip and stick, a third nanoscale friction mechanism exists that is independent of normal force, velocity, and adsorbed polymer length. A model is proposed for this mechanism that is based on measurements with various polymers on topographically and chemically nanostructured surfaces.