Applied Physics Letters

Bulk and surface characterization of a dewetting thin film polymer bilayer

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We have monitored the progression of the dewetting of a partially brominated polystyrene (PBrS) thin film on top of a polystyrene (PS) thin film with scanning transmission x-ray microscopy (STXM) as well as photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM). We mapped the projected thickness of each constituent polymer species and the total thickness of the film with STXM, while we determined the surface composition with PEEM. Our data show that the PBrS top layer becomes encapsulated during the later stages of dewetting and that atomic force microscopy topographs cannot be utilized to determine the contact angle between PBrS and PS. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.