Effect of nanoscale confinement on the glass transition temperature of free-standing polymer films: Novel, self-referencing fluorescence method

Soyoung Kim, Connie B. Roth, John M Torkelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effect of nanoscale confinement on the glass transition temperature, Tg, of freely standing polystyrene (PS) films was determined using the temperature dependence of a fluorescence intensity ratio associated with pyrene dye labeled to the polymer. The ratio of the intensity of the third fluorescence peak to that of the first fluorescence peak in 1-pyrenylmethyl methacrylate-labeled PS (MApyrene-labeled PS) decreased with decreasing temperature, and the intersection of the linear temperature dependences in the rubbery and glassy states yielded the measurement of Tg. The sensitivity of this method to Tg was also shown in bulk, supported PS and poly(isobutyl methacrylate) films. With free-standing PS films, a strong effect of confinement on Tg was evident at thicknesses less than 80-90 nm. For MApyrene-labeled PS with Mn = 701 kg mol-1, a 41-nm-thick film exhibited a 47 K reduction in Tg relative to bulk PS. A strong molecular weight dependence of the Tg-confinement effect was also observed, with a 65-nm-thick free-standing film exhibiting a reduction in T g relative to bulk PS of 19 K with Mn = 701 kg mol -1 and 31 K with Mn = 1460 kg mol-1. The data are in reasonable agreement with results of Forrest, Dalnoki-Veress, and Dutcher who performed the seminal studies on Tg-confinement effects in free-standing PS films. The utility of self-referencing fluorescence for novel studies of confinement effects in free-standing films is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2754-2764
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Volume46
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2008

Keywords

  • Films
  • Fluorescence
  • Glass transition
  • Interface
  • Luminescence
  • Nanolayers
  • Photophysics
  • Polystyrene
  • Thermal properties
  • Thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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