• atomic-force microscopy;
  • collapse dynamics;
  • grafting density;
  • polymer brushes;
  • solvent effects
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The cover picture illustrates the reversible collapse and swelling of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) brushes induced at room temperature by the variation of solvent composition from water to methanol-water mixtures. Brushes with different grafting densities were obtained by surface-initiated polymerizations. The effective values of the Young's modulus of the polymer brushes in the collapsed and swollen states were determined by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The variation of adherence between AFM colloidal probes and brush surfaces in different solvents was assessed, and the collapse dynamics was investigated by monitoring the change in adherence in real-time by AFM colloidal probes. For more information, please read the Full Paper “Probing the Collapse Dynamics of Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) Brushes by AFM: Effects of Co-nonsolvency and Grafting Densities” by G. J. Vancso and co-workers, beginning on page 1440.