Critical properties of thin films of polymer solutions

M. Rizzotto, I. Szleifer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The critical properties of polymer solutions confined in thin-film environments is studied with simple scaling arguments and a molecular theory. For purely repulsive surfaces, the critical volume fraction is a universal function of x = N 1/2/L, where N is the chain length and L is the film thickness. The critical volume fraction is nonmonotonic in x and shows a deep minimum at a film thickness several times larger than the chain's radius of gyration. This nonmonotonic behavior results from the interplay between the surface-polymer entropic repulsion and the tendency of the film to avoid large density gradients. The critical temperature is a monotonically increasing function of L, as L goes from the two-dimensional limit to the three-dimensional limit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1849-1853
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2005


  • Phase behavior
  • Theory
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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