Switchable adhesion

Latifah is from Ha'il, a city in the middle of the north in Saudi Arabia, where she did her first degree in Physics. Latifah came to Sheffield with a Saudi government scholarship to complete her postgraduate studies, and in 2011 she did her MSc degree in Nanoscale Science and Technology at Sheffield University and Leeds University. In 2012, Latifah started her PhD in Sheffield having decided that it would be fantastic to work on switchable adhesion. What was great about this was that she was able to introduce me to double-network hydrogels, which turned out to be amazing. Anyway, she was very productive and on Thursday May 26, 2016 Latifah successfully defended her thesis before her examiners, Professor Vasileios Koutsos (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Jamie Hobbs (University of Sheffield). Well done to her! She's now back in Ha'il as a Faculty member at the University of Ha'il.

Photograph of non-reusable adhesive.

The picture above shows a poly[(2-diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate] layer (which is positively charged in water) after a poly(methacrylic acid) gel (negatively charged) has been attached and then removed. The mess in the centre are the remnants of the gel which fractured on removal. Latifah replaced these gels with double-network hydrogels which do not fracture on removal, allowing both components to be reused. The image is about 1.6 mm wide.

Jamie Hobbs' SPM research group

Vasileios Koutsos

Oral presentations and prizes:

American Physical Society March meeting, San Antonio, USA, March 2015

Poster Prize, RSC Structured Soft and Biological Matter meeting, Durham, June 2015


W. D. Seddon, L. Alfhaid, A. D. F. Dunbar, M. Geoghegan, and N. H. Williams "Adhesion of grafted-to polyelectrolyte brushes functionalized with calix[4]resorcinarene and deposited as a monolayer Langmuir 36 13843-52 (2020)

L. Alfhaid, N. H. Williams, and M. Geoghegan "Adhesion between oppositely charged polyelectrolytes in salt solution" J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 137 49130 (2020)

L. Alfhaid, R. La Spina, M. R. Tomlinson, A. R. Hall, W. D. Seddon, N. H. Williams, F. Cousin, S. Gorb, and M. Geoghegan "Adhesion between oppositely charged polyelectrolytes" J. Adhes. 94 58-76 (2018)

L. Alfhaid, W. D. Seddon, N. H. Williams, and M. Geoghegan "Double-network hydrogels improve pH-switchable adhesion" Soft Matter 12 5022-8 (2016)

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