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Polymers 2014, 6(3), 820-845; doi:10.3390/polym6030820

Morphologies and Thermal Variability of Patterned Polymer Films with Poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride)

1,*  and 2
1 Chair for Bio-based Materials Engineering, Faculty for Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg, Werthmannstrasse 6, 79085 Freiburg, Germany 2 Department of Textiles, Ghent University, Technologiepark 907, 9052 Zwijnaarde, Belgium
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 January 2014 / Revised: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Equilibrium Blockcopolymer Self-Assembly)


Patterned films of poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride) copolymers were deposited by dip-coating from acetone solutions. A qualitative study of the film morphologies shows the formation of polymer spheres with smaller diameters at higher amounts of maleic anhydride (MA), and long-fibrous features at higher molecular weights. Upon heating, the films progressively re-assemble with short- and long-fibrous structures as a function of heating time and temperature. In parallel, the film morphologies are quantified by image processing and filtering techniques. The differential scanning calorimetry confirms the higher glass transition temperatures with increasing amount of MA. The analysis with Raman spectroscopy shows interactions between the molecules in solution and effects of ring-opening (hydrolysis) and ring-closure (formation of MA) during drying of the films. The water contact angles on the patterned films are within the hydrophilic range. They mainly correlate with the amount of MA moieties calculated from spectroscopy, while the roughness parameters have a minor effect. The variations in film patterns illustrate the self-assemble ability of the copolymers and confirm a heterogeneous molecular structure, as previously assumed.
Keywords: copolymer; film; pattern; spherical; fibrous; heating; wetting copolymer; film; pattern; spherical; fibrous; heating; wetting
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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Samyn, P.; Schoukens, G. Morphologies and Thermal Variability of Patterned Polymer Films with Poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride). Polymers 2014, 6, 820-845.

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