Polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) thin films prepared via Layer-by-Layer (LbL) deposition technique are of special interest in this research. The purpose of this study is to replace the current mechanical closure systems based on hook and loop type fasteners (i.e. Velcro) with PEM thin films. PEMs via LbL deposition technique have attracted attention since Decher and coworkers [1,2] first introduced them in the early 1990s. The technique is simple, cheap, versatile and environmental friendly; as a consequence a variety of thin films can be easily fabricated. By proposing PEMs as non-mechanical and nanoscopic molecular closures, we aim to obtain hermetic sealing, good adhesive strength, and peel off ease. We studied the adhesive forces of PEM thin films using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and colloidal silica probes. We performed the force measurements in air at a controlled humidity level. Each chapter discusses parameters that are important in the determination of adhesive strength.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute