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Surface Morphology of Annealed Polystyrene and Poly(methyl methacrylate) Thin Film Blends and Bilayers
 

Summary: Surface Morphology of Annealed Polystyrene and
Poly(methyl methacrylate) Thin Film Blends and Bilayers
Mark Harris, Guenter Appel, and Harald Ade*
Department of Physics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695
Received October 1, 2002
ABSTRACT: Thin films of polystyrene (PS) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) were spun-cast onto
silicon substrates, annealed, and analyzed by atomic force microscopy (AFM), total electron yield (TEY),
and partial electron yield (PEY) near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy in
order to resolve conflicting prior literature regarding the tendency of PS to form a wetting layer or overlayer
on top of PMMA. From the comparison of the three methods of analysis and on the basis of the
extraordinary surface sensitivity of PEY NEXAFS, we conclude that PS does not form an overlayer in
samples with morphologies near thermodynamic equilibrium. The PS forms droplets of a large size range
on top of a PMMA layer that wets the hydrophilic SiOx substrate. From our results, the maximum
thickness of a continuous PS wetting layer would be about 0.25 nm. This is in contrast to recent
experiments that imply an equivalent PS wetting layer of about 5-10 nm is forming during annealing.
Introduction
Polystyrene (PS) and poly(methyl methacrylate)
(PMMA) are frequently used as binary model systems
to study thin film polymer structure formation, polymer-
polymer and polymer-substrate interactions, and pat-

  

Source: Ade, Harald W.- Department of Physics, North Carolina State University

 

Collections: Physics