The Journal of Chemical Physics

The effect of finite film thickness on the surface segregation in symmetric binary polymer mixtures

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We report neutron reflectivity and dynamic secondary ion mass spectroscopy measurements of surface segregation from symmetric, isotopic polystyrene blends, spin coated onto oxide covered silicon wafers, as a function of film thickness. The results of this analysis show that the segments of the deuterated polymer always partition to both the air and the substrate interfaces. Furthermore, the surface segregation is affected significantly if the film thicknesses are reduced below ∼four times the correlation length in the systems, and the segregation to both surfaces decreases with decreasing thickness. These results are in good agreement with the predictions of a mean-field lattice model which incorporates composition and chain length independent values of the surface energy parameter χs at each surface. © 1993 American Institute of Physics.