Use of polystyrene brushes to investigate the role of interface between substrates and thin homogeneous films

Year: 2013

Authors: Dinelli F., Sgrilli T., Ricci A., Baschieri P., Pingue P., Puttaswamy M., Kingshott P.

Autors Affiliation: CNR, INO, I-56100 Pisa, Italy; Laboratorio NEST, Scuola Normale Superiore and Istituto Nanoscience, CNR, Pisa, Italy; Faculty of Science, The Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Centre (iNANO), Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, Industrial Research Institute Swinburne (IRIS), Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, 3122 Victoria, Australia

Abstract: The viscoelastic properties of thin polystyrene (PS) films depend on confinement, as it can modify the molecular dynamics affecting the glass transition. In the recent past, the authors have investigated the region next to the free interface by means of an atomic force microscope suitably modified to monitor the indentation of a tip into a film during a given lapse of time while applying a constant load. Herein, to explore the interface with the substrate, the authors report on experiments in which PS brushes grafted to native silicon oxide were used. It was found that the film wettability on brushes and H-terminated silicon can be highly improved when compared with native silicon oxide. In addition, the glass transition temperature of thin films increases up to the bulk value in the case of film/brush combinations with high molecular weight or films with high molecular weight on H-terminated silicon. Data are discussed according to hypotheses such as residual solvent presence, interface free volume, and molecular mechanical coupling. These observations can be of great interest for nanotechnological applications, especially in those instances where one needs to tailor the temperature dependence of viscoelastic properties of thin films. (c) 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2013, 51, 1149-1156


Volume: 51 (15)      Pages from: 1149  to: 1156

More Information: This work was partially supported by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) (Internal funding of the Institute of Nanostructured Materials (ISMN)) and by EU through project FP7-PEOPLE-212-ITN 316832-OLIMPIA, by Consorzio MIST E-R through Programma Operativo FESR 2007-2013 della Regione Emilia-Romagna – Attivita I.1.1. (T.P.), by MIUR through projects PRIN 2009-2009AZKNJ7 (S.B.), FIRB ITALNANONET (A.P.), Progetto Bandiera Fabbrica del Futuro, Silk-It (V.B, S.T., A.P.) and Futuro in Ricerca RBFR12SJA8 (V.B). Dr Marco Caprini, Dr Alessia Minardi and Prof Stefano Ferroni from the Dept. of Human and General Physiology of the University of Bologna are kindly acknowledged for their help in DRG cell culture preparation. Dr Massimiliano Rocchia from Thermo Fisher Scientific for allowing us to access his laboratory for ATR-IR measurements. We are grateful to Franco Corticelli for the SEM imaging assistance and to Paolo Mei and Tiziano Bonfiglioli for their technical support.
KeyWords: adhesion; atomic force microscopy (AFM); brushes; glass transition temperature; molecular entanglement
DOI: 10.1002/polb.23310

Citations: 2
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