Nanoscale friction of biomimetic hair surfaces

E Weiand and JP Ewen and Y Roiter and PH Koenig and SH Page and F Rodriguez-Ropero and S Angioletti-Uberti and D Dini, NANOSCALE, 15, 7086-7104 (2023).

DOI: 10.1039/d2nr05545g

We investigate the nanoscale friction between biomimetic hair surfaces using chemical colloidal probe atomic force microscopy experiments and nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. In the experiments, friction is measured between water-lubricated silica surfaces functionalised with monolayers formed from either octadecyl or sulfonate groups, which are representative of the surfaces of virgin and ultimately bleached hair, respectively. In the simulations, friction is monitored between coarse-grained model hair surfaces with different levels of chemical damage, where a specified amount of grafted octadecyl groups are randomly replaced with sulfonate groups. The sliding velocity dependence of friction in the simulations can be described using an extended stress-augmented thermally activation model. As the damage level increases in the simulations, the friction coefficient generally increases, but its sliding velocity-dependence decreases. At low sliding velocities, which are closer to those encountered experimentally and physiologically, we observe a monotonic increase of the friction coefficient with damage ratio, which is consistent with our new experiments using biomimetic surfaces and previous ones using real hair. This observation demonstrates that modified surface chemistry, rather than roughness changes or subsurface damage, control the increase in nanoscale friction of bleached or chemically damaged hair. We expect the methods and biomimetic surfaces proposed here to be useful to screen the tribological performance of hair care formulations both experimentally and computationally.

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