Publication
Langmuir
Paper

Effect of confinement on the mesoscale and macroscopic swelling of thin block copolymer films

View publication

Abstract

We report on the swelling behavior and the corresponding morphological behavior of cylinder-forming polystyrene-b-polybutadiene diblock copolymers, which are confined to several layers of structures. The equilibration of thin films has been done under controlled atmosphere of a nonselective solvent. In situ spectroscopic ellipsometry measurements revealed more than 10% increase of the solvent uptake with decreasing film thickness. With scanning force microscopy of the microphase separated patterns in quenched films, the correlation between the degree of the long-range order of cylinder domains and the degree of the macroscopic swelling has been established. In the case of spontaniously formed micrometer-sized topographic features with descrete film thickness (terraces), the increased solvent uptake by thinner films holds true even for isolated terraces on the mesoscale. The observation of nonhomogeneous swelling of the films on the micrometer scale brings novel insights into the properties of confined soft matter, and suggests new approaches toward the fabrication of polymer-based nanostructured responsive materials. © 2009 American Chemical Society.

Date

22 Dec 2009

Publication

Langmuir

Authors

Topics

Share