, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 161-172

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

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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.

This revised version was published online in August 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.