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Open AccessArticle

Mechanical Properties and Adhesion of a Micro Structured Polymer Blend

Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing (BAM), VI.4, Unter den Eichen 87, Berlin 12205, Germany
Polymers 2011, 3(3), 1091-1106;
Received: 31 May 2011 / Revised: 5 July 2011 / Accepted: 14 July 2011 / Published: 15 July 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Thin Films and Membranes)
A 50:50 blend of polystyrene (PS) and poly(n-butyl methacrylate) (PnBMA) has been characterized with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) in Tapping Mode and with force-distance curves. The polymer solution has been spin-coated on a glass slide. PnBMA builds a uniform film on the glass substrate with a thickness of @200 nm. On top of it, the PS builds an approximately 100 nm thick film. The PS-film undergoes dewetting, leading to the formation of holes surrounded by about 2 µm large rims. In those regions of the sample, where the distance between the holes is larger than about 4 µm, light depressions in the PS film can be observed. Topography, dissipated energy, adhesion, stiffness and elastic modulus have been measured on these three regions (PnBMA, PS in the rims and PS in the depressions). The two polymers can be distinguished in all images, since PnBMA has a higher adhesion and a smaller stiffness than PS, and hence a higher dissipated energy. Moreover, the polystyrene in the depressions shows a very high adhesion (approximately as high as PnBMA) and its stiffness is intermediate between that of PnBMA and that of PS in the rims. This is attributed to higher mobility of the PS chains in the depressions, which are precursors of new holes. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer blends; dewetting; mechanical properties; adhesion; AFM polymer blends; dewetting; mechanical properties; adhesion; AFM
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Cappella, B. Mechanical Properties and Adhesion of a Micro Structured Polymer Blend. Polymers 2011, 3, 1091-1106.

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