Interfacial and substrate effects on local elastic properties of polymers using coupled experiments and modeling of nanoindentation

Supinda Watcharotone*, Charles D. Wood, Robert Friedrich, Xinqi Chen, Rui Qiao, Karl W Putz, L Catherine Brinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mechanical properties of polymers near interfaces are important in a number of different fields. For almost two decades, the local dynamics of thin polymer films have been studied in great detail. However, development of an understanding of local mechanical properties has been hindered by the necessary proximity of stiff substrates: mechanical measurements are confounded by interaction with the substrate, convoluting polymer, and substrate properties. In this paper, local elastic properties of thin polymer films near interfaces are directly probed for the first time via nanoindentation experiments on thin films coupled with finite element modeling. A comprehensive set of experimental and numerical modeling results are presented for poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) revealing separately the effects of substrate and interphase polymer. Results indicate the attractive surface significantly affects the properties up to hundreds of nanometers. This new, direct approach to measure local mechanical properties provides new fundamental understanding of interfacial and small-scale behaviors in polymers and soft matter for application advances in nanocomposites, microelectronics, and biopolymers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-404
Number of pages5
JournalAdvanced Engineering Materials
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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