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Experimental evidence of ultrathin polymer film stratification by AFM force spectroscopy

Abstract : By performing Atomic Force Microscopy measurements of pull-off force as a function of the temperature, we were able to probe the dynamic of supported thin polystyrene (PS) films. Thermal transitions induce modifications in the surface energy, roughness and surface modulus that are clearly detected by AFM and related to PS chain relaxation mechanisms. We demonstrated the existence of three transition temperatures that can be associated to the relaxation of polymer chains located at different depth regions within the polymer film. Independently of the film thickness, we have confirmed the presence of a region of high mobility for the polymer chains at the free interface. The thickness of this region is estimated to be above 7nm. The detection of a transition only present for film thicker than the gyration radius Rg is linked to the dynamics of polymer chains in a bulk conformation (i.e. not in contact with the free interface). We claim here that our results demonstrate, in agreement with other techniques, the stratification of thin polymer film depth profile in terms of relaxation behavior.
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https://hal-univ-lemans.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01905173
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Soumis le : jeudi 25 octobre 2018 - 15:56:15
Dernière modification le : jeudi 31 mars 2022 - 15:26:14

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Nicolas Delorme, Mohamed Souheib Chebil, Guillaume Vignaud, Vincent Le Houerou, Jean-François Bardeau, et al.. Experimental evidence of ultrathin polymer film stratification by AFM force spectroscopy. European Physical Journal E: Soft matter and biological physics, 2015, 38 (6), ⟨10.1140/epje/i2015-15056-9⟩. ⟨hal-01905173⟩

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