Visualizing the Orientation of Single Polymers Induced by Spin-Coating

Jonathan M. Chan, Muzhou Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The orientation of chains within polymeric materials influences their electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties. While many techniques can infer the orientation distribution of a bulk ensemble, it is challenging to determine this information at the single-chain level, particularly in an environment of otherwise identical polymers. Here, we use single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) to visualize the directions of chains within spin-coated polymer films. We find a strong relationship between shear force and the degree and direction of orientation, and additionally, we reveal the effects of chain length and solvent evaporation rate. This work utilizes single-chain resolution to observe the important, though often overlooked, property of chain orientation in the common fabrication process of spin-coating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5891-5897
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 27 2022


  • bottlebrush polymer
  • orientation
  • spin-coating
  • super-resolution microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Visualizing the Orientation of Single Polymers Induced by Spin-Coating'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this