Front-line polymer science: Past, present and future of single polymer chain mechanics

Ken Nakajima, Xiaobin Liang

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Past, present and future of single polymer chain mechanics based on atomic force microscopy were reviewed, which is generally called as single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS). Static SMFS can provide information such as persistent length and contour length appearing in a worm-like chain model. Thiol-terminated Polyl/V-isopropylacrylamide) was used as an example study and its behavior change near its LCST was investigated. The temperature dependence of the plateau force at the low-extension region agreed well with the prediction by the pearl-necklace model developed by Prof. F. Tanaka. Two types of dynamic SMFS methods were also reviewed. The first noise-analysis SMFS may need future instrumental improvement. The second forcedoscillation SMFS measurements have resulted in a lot of interesting insights. As an example, the relaxation time of the polystyrene chain in N,N-dimethylformamide was measured and its dependence on the degree of polymerization was investigated. The Kirkwood model reproduced well the experimental results, while the necessity for a new concept of effective viscosity is proposed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)734-737
    Number of pages4
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1


    • Atomic force microscopy
    • Kirkwood model
    • Poly(n-isopropylacrylamide)
    • Relaxation time
    • Single molecule force spectroscopy
    • Single polymer chain

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemical Engineering(all)


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