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Polymers 2016, 8(4), 120; doi:10.3390/polym8040120

The Effect of Temperature Treatment on the Structure of Polyelectrolyte Multilayers

1
Stranski-Laboratorium für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie, Institut für Chemie, Technische Universität Berlin, Strasse des 17. Juni 124, 10623 Berlin, Germany
2
Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Polymer Research, Geiselbergstr. 69, 14476 Postdam-Golm, Germany
3
Institut für Chemie, Universität Postdam, Karl-Liebknecht Str. 24-25, 14476 Postdam-Golm, Germany
4
Institut für weiche Materie und Funktionelle Materialien, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Hahn Meitner-Platz 1, 14109 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Christine Wandrey
Received: 29 January 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 24 March 2016 / Published: 2 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Polyelectrolytes)
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Abstract

The study addresses the effect of thermal treatment on the internal structure of polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEMs). In order to get insight into the internal structure of PEMs, Neutron Reflectometry (NR) was used. PEMs with a deuterated inner block towards the substrate and a non-deuterated outer block were prepared and measured in 1% RH and in D2O before and after a thermal treatment. Complementarily, PEMs with the same number of layers but completely non-deuterated were investigated by ellipsometry. The analysis for the overall thickness (d), the average scattering length density (SLD) and the refractive index (n) indicate a degradation of the PEM. The loss in material is independent of the number of layers, i.e., only a constant part of the PEM is affected by degradation. The analysis of the internal structure revealed a more complex influence of thermal treatment on PEM structure. Only the outermost part of the PEM degenerates, while the inner part becomes denser during the thermal treatment. In addition, the swelling behavior of PEMs is influenced by the thermal treatment. The untreated PEM shows a well pronounced odd—even effect, i.e., PDADMAC-terminated PEMs take up more water than PSS-terminated PEMs. After the thermal treatment, the odd-even effect becomes much weaker. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyelectrolyte multilayer; neutron reflectometry; internal structure; temperature; swelling behavior; odd–even effect; PSS/PDADMAC polyelectrolyte multilayer; neutron reflectometry; internal structure; temperature; swelling behavior; odd–even effect; PSS/PDADMAC
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zerball, M.; Laschewsky, A.; Köhler, R.; von Klitzing, R. The Effect of Temperature Treatment on the Structure of Polyelectrolyte Multilayers. Polymers 2016, 8, 120.

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