The confinement of soft materials between surfaces is central to the interactions that lead to adhesion, lubrication and colloidal stability. Force measurements have long been able to describe the potential that exists between various coated surfaces, but it is only more recently that scattering techniques have permitted the detailed study of surface layers under confinement. By focusing on the characterization of interfacial layer structures, there is a growing understanding of the structural basis for the previously reported interaction potentials. Work to date has illustrated that the nanoscale confinement of adsorbed polymers, polymer brushes, polyelectrolyte multilayers, liquid crystals and lipid bilayers frequently leads to unexpected structural features. Approaches to probing interfacial structures with X-ray reflection and neutron reflection are described along with some of the advances in sample environment design that have facilitated these explorations.

Generated automatically with Publist v. 1.3b

Last edited: Friday September 10, 2010

Valid XHTML 1.1 Valid CSS 2