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Open AccessArticle

Porous Ultra-Thin Films from Photocleavable Block Copolymers: In-Situ Degradation Kinetics Study of Pore Material

1
Institute for Physical Chemistry, University of Duisburg-Essen, 45141 Essen, Germany
2
Deutsches Textilforschungszentrum Nord-West gGmbH, 47798 Krefeld, Germany
3
Institut für Energie- und Umweltverfahrenstechnik, University of Duisburg-Essen, 45141 Essen, Germany
4
Institute of Fundamental and Frontier Sciences, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 610000, China
5
Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
6
Institute for Biological Interfaces III, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
7
CENIDE, University of Duisburg-Essen, 47057 Duisburg, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(4), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040781
Received: 26 November 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2020 / Accepted: 11 March 2020 / Published: 2 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Physics)
On the basis of the major application for block copolymers to use them as separation membranes, lithographic mask, and as templates, the preparation of highly oriented nanoporous thin films requires the selective removal of the minor phase from the pores. In the scope of this study, thin film of polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) block copolymer with a photocleavable junction groups based on ortho-nitrobenzylester (ONB) (PS--PEO) was papered via the spin coating technique followed by solvent annealing to obtain highly-ordered cylindrical domains. The polymer blocks are cleaved by means of a mild UV exposure and then the pore material is washed out of the polymer film by ultra-pure water resulting in arrays of nanoporous thin films to remove one block. The removal of the PEO materials from the pores was proven using the grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) technique. The treatment of the polymer film during the washing process was observed in real time after two different UV exposure time (1 and 4 h) in order to draw conclusions regarding the dynamics of the removal process. In-situ X-ray reflectivity measurements provide statistically significant information about the change in the layer thickness as well as the roughness and electron density of the polymer film during pore formation. 4 H UV exposure was found to be more efficient for PEO cleavage. By in-situ SFM measurements, the structure of the ultra-thin block copolymer films was also analysed and, thus, the kinetics of the washing process was elaborated. The results from both measurements confirmed that the washing procedure induces irreversible change in morphology to the surface of the thin film. View Full-Text
Keywords: block copolymers; photocleavage; in-situ SFM; in-situ X-ray reflectivity; GISAXS block copolymers; photocleavage; in-situ SFM; in-situ X-ray reflectivity; GISAXS
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MDPI and ACS Style

Altinpinar, S.; Ali, W.; Schuchardt, P.; Yildiz, P.; Zhao, H.; Theato, P.; Gutmann, J.S. Porous Ultra-Thin Films from Photocleavable Block Copolymers: In-Situ Degradation Kinetics Study of Pore Material. Polymers 2020, 12, 781. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040781

AMA Style

Altinpinar S, Ali W, Schuchardt P, Yildiz P, Zhao H, Theato P, Gutmann JS. Porous Ultra-Thin Films from Photocleavable Block Copolymers: In-Situ Degradation Kinetics Study of Pore Material. Polymers. 2020; 12(4):781. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040781

Chicago/Turabian Style

Altinpinar, Sedakat; Ali, Wael; Schuchardt, Patrick; Yildiz, Pinar; Zhao, Hui; Theato, Patrick; Gutmann, Jochen S. 2020. "Porous Ultra-Thin Films from Photocleavable Block Copolymers: In-Situ Degradation Kinetics Study of Pore Material" Polymers 12, no. 4: 781. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040781

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