Nonequilibrium states of surface composition can be extremely long-lived when polymer chains adsorb competitively. In a model system (polymethylmethacrylate adsorbed from CCl4 onto oxidized silicon previously saturated with polystyrene), it is shown that a weakly adsorbing polymer was sterically pinned to a surface by a more strongly adsorbing polymer. The dynamical evolution of the surface composition was strongly nonexponential in time and non-Arrhenius in temperature; the phenomenology is analogous to bulk glasses. This interpretation offers a new mechanism to explain why weakly adsorbing chains may bind to surfaces, as well as a direction in which to look for a method to release them.
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