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Neutron reflectometry has been combined with rheology in order to investigate the solid boundary of liquids and polymers under shear deformation. This approach allows one to apply a controlled stress to a material while resolving the structural arrangements on the sub-nanometre length scale with neutron reflectivity, off-specular scattering and small-angle scattering at the same time. The specularly reflected neutron intensity of a 20% by weight solution of Pluronic F127 in deuterated water in contact with an octadecyl trichlorosilane-covered and a piranha-treated silicon wafer is evaluated. A pronounced difference is found in the structure formed by the polymer micelles at the two surfaces, which is explained by the difference in the affinity of the micellar shell to the solid interfaces. Under deformation, the near interface structure changes at deformations of about 2, 30 and 900%. The structural changes are correlated with changes in the storage and loss modulus of the polymer solution, revealing a transition from more solid to more liquid like properties.

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