Tribology Letters

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 161–172

Tribology of confined Fomblin-Z perfluoropolyalkylethers: molecular weight dependence and comparison between unfunctionalized and telechelic chains


  • Marina Ruths
    • Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of Illinois
  • Steve Granick
    • Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of Illinois

DOI: 10.1023/A:1019137824102

Cite this article as:
Ruths, M. & Granick, S. Tribology Letters (1999) 7: 161. doi:10.1023/A:1019137824102


The dynamic shear properties of molecularly-thin films of unfunctionalized and end-functionalized (telechelic) Fomblin-Z perfluoropolyalkylether (PFPAE) melts with number-average molecular weight M n≈ 3000−4000 g,mol-1 have been studied at shear rates of 10-2−105 s-1 at normal pressures of 1 and 3 MPa. The shear responses are compared to measurements on end-functionalized polymers of the same chemical composition but lower molecular weight, M n≈ 2000 g,mol-1. The predominantly elastic response and high shear moduli of the confined film of unfunctionalized polymer, Fomblin Z03, suggest that it forms a structure likely to solidify already at low pressure. Its lubricating properties are less favorable than the ones found for hydroxyl- (DOL) and piperonyl-terminated Fomblin-Z (AM2001, AM3001), where associated molecules form a structure less prone to solidification under confinement. The thickness of the compressed films of the end-functionalized polymers increased more strongly with molecular weight than as M n 0.5 . The shear moduli were found to be larger, the higher the molecular weight, indicating slower relaxations. At a normal pressure of 3 MPa, these films solidified and displayed stick–slip as seen already at 1 MPa in the Z03 film. The limiting shear stress of the unfunctionalized Z03, σ > 3 MPa, exceeded by an order of magnitude the limiting shear stress of all of the end-functionalized polymers. The limiting shear stress of the hydroxyl-terminated polymer was larger than that of the piperonyl-terminated polymer.

rheological properties molecular weight dependence unfunctionalized Fomblin-Z end-functionalized Fomblin-Z

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999