Long-range attractive force between hydrophobic surfaces observed by atomic force microscopy

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Science  22 Oct 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5133, pp. 547-550
DOI: 10.1126/science.8211182


There is evidence from atomic force microscopy for a long-range attractive force between hydrophobic surfaces that is virtually identical to that observed with the surface forces apparatus. This force is present in the nonaqueous solvent ethylene glycol. A possible molecular mechanism involves in-plane polarized domains of solid-like monolayers adsorbed on mica, and a theoretical model has been developed that accounts for many of the observations.