This study reports a theoretical analysis of the forced separation of two adhesive surfaces linked via a large number of parallel noncovalent bonds. To describe the bond kinetics, we implement a three-state reaction model with kinetic rates obtained from a simple integral expression of the mean first passage time for diffusive barrier crossing in a pulled-distance-dependent potential. We then compute the rupture force for the separation of adhesive surfaces at a constant rate. The results correspond well with a Brownian dynamics simulation of the same system. The separation rate relative to the intrinsic relaxation time of the bonds defines three loading regimes and the general dependence of the adhesion on kinetic or thermodynamic parameters of the bonds. In the equilibrium regime, the rupture force asymptotically approaches the equilibrium rupture force, which increases linearly with the equilibrium bond energy. In the near-equilibrium regime, the rupture force increases with the separation rate and increasingly correlates with the bond rupture barrier. In the far-from-equilibrium regime where rebinding is irrelevant, the rupture force varies linearly with the rupture barrier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number194702
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number19
StatePublished - Dec 12 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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