Contact and adhesion in soft materials


Monday, May 15, 2023 - 9:00am


Engr II 1519


Professor Joelle Frechette - UC Berkeley

Abstract: Understanding and harnessing the coupling between lubrication pressure, elasticity, and surface interactions provides materials design strategies for applications such as adhesives, coatings, microsensors, and biomaterials. This presentation will discuss our efforts to understand how soft materials make contact and adhere under dynamic conditions in fluid environments, or between two soft surfaces. Measurements of interactions between soft surfaces will show how elastic films deform due to viscous forces and influence adhesion. In particular, we will discuss how detachment from soft probes suppresses the interfacial instabilities of a model viscoelastic polymer adhesive. We will show that the mechanism for interface stabilization is the elastohydrodynamic deformation of the probe and propose a scaling for the onset of stabilization. We will then discuss the importance of surface interaction for underwater adhesion, specifically looking at the role of cooperative hydrogen bonding on adhesion. 

Bio: Joelle Frechette received her PhD from Princeton University in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in 2005 studying surface forces and adhesion in electrochemical environment. After postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley where she investigated unwanted adhesion in microelectromechanical systems, she joined the Hopkins Faculty in 2006 and relocated to UC Berkeley in 2021. She was awarded the NSF CAREER award in 2008, the 3M untenured faculty award in 2008, the ONR Young Investigator Award in 2011, and was elected as a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2017. Her research interests in the area of colloid and interfacial science include: adhesion in fluid environments, particles at fluid interfaces, and surface force measurements. 

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