Selectively probing the glass transition temperature in multilayer polymer films: Equivalence of block copolymers and multilayer films of different homopolymers

Connie B. Roth, John M Torkelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations

Abstract

The temperature dependence of the fluorescence of trace levels of pyrene was employed to measure the glass transition temperatures (Tgs) of polystyrene (PS) domains within ultrathin films of poly(styrene-block-methyl methacrylate) (P(S-b-MMA)) and poly(styrene-block-2-vinylpyridine) (P(S-b-2VP)) diblock copolymers supported on silica after self-assembly into lamellar morphologies. The PS domains within the two block copolymers exhibited dramatically different Tg-nanoconfinement behavior. The T gs of the PS domains within the P(S-b-MMA) films were observed to decrease with decreasing film thickness in accordance with Tg reductions observed for single-layer PS homopolymer films; in contrast, the Tg of the PS domains within the P(S-b-2VP) films exhibited no change within experimental uncertainty upon confinement. The Tgs of the block copolymer films showed excellent agreement with those of multilayer films constructed from homopolymer layers with an equivalent morphology, indicating that chain connectivity across the immiscible interface has little impact on cooperative segmental dynamics within the individual layers/domains. The difference in the Tg-nanoconfinement behavior exhibited by the PS free-surface layer of P(S-b-MMA) and P(S-b-2VP) block copolymer films, and equivalently exhibited by the PS free-surface layer of PS/PMMA and PS/P2VP bilayer films, is due to the much stronger attractive interaction at the P2VP-silica substrate interface. Once the P2VP-silica substrate interaction is removed, the P2VP underlayer is no longer able to suppress the enhanced mobility of a PS free-surface layer when the underlayer thickness is made sufficiently thin ( <∼10 nm). This indicates that both the type and amount of material present in the underlayers determine the Tg-nanoconfinement behavior at the free surface of multilayer films. In addition, intrinsic phenyl ring fluorescence was shown to be effective for quantifying in situ the time scale for self-assembly of styrene-containing block copolymers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3328-3336
Number of pages9
JournalMacromolecules
Volume40
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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