Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Scientists at the Universite libre de Bruxelles in Belgium have discovered that molecules move faster the closer they get to adhesive surfaces.
The study, published Thursday in Physical Review Letters, found that although molecules move faster near adhesive surfaces, the effect does not last forever.
Over the last 20 years, researchers have studied the behavior of certain polymers, biomolecules and liquid crystals at the nano-scale near an absorbing medium.
The new study shows molecules move faster as they get closer to an adhesive surface due to a phenomenon called the nanoconfinement effect -- molecules in direct contact with an adhesive surface move slower or not at all, which increases the movement of the next molecules because there is more space around them.
Researchers in the Laboratory of Polymers and Soft Matter Dynamics at the Universite libre de Bruxelles discovered that the movement rate is only temporary, however, because the molecules gradually slow down as new molecules adhere to the sticky surface and fill in the spaces left.
The researchers write that molecules move as if they were far from the adhesive surface after a period of time, adding that the time it takes to return to normal molecular movement is longer than would be predicted by any current theory of polymer physics.