Quartz crystal microbalance studies of the contact between soft, viscoelastic solids

Miriam Kunze, Kenneth R. Shull*, Diethelm Johannsmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Mechanical contact between a viscoelastic lens and a viscoelastic film has been probed by means of a quartz crystal microbalance operated in the impedance analysis mode. The frequency shift induced by the formation of the contact decreases with increasing film thickness because of the finite penetration depth of the acoustic shear wave. The dependence of frequency and bandwidth on film thickness and contact area is described within a sheet-contact model, which can be employed to quantitatively analyze mechanical contact in a wide range of materials problems. The model was tested by bringing a quartz crystal coated with an elastomeric gel into contact with a hemispherical cap of a similar gel. Both gels consisted of the thermoreversible gel Kraton G swollen in mineral oil. The experiments support the model well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-173
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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