Microgels and fractal structures at interfaces and surfaces
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The behavior of microgels near surfaces and their adsorption is studied by simple scaling theory. Two different types of microgels can be studied, i.e., fractal type microgels and randomly crosslinked polymer chains. In the first case the gel can be described mainly by introducing a spectral dimension. The second type requires more attention and uses the number of crosslinks as parameter. The main result is that soft gels with weakly coupled crosslinks and a low number of crosslinks adsorb much better than hard gels, with many crosslinks. Similar results for fractal gels and branched polymer are presented. Fractal gels with low connectivity adsorb easier than gels with a large connectivity dimension. We discuss also consequences on surface protection by microgels.
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