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Polymers 2012, 4(1), 341-354;

Effects of Emulsion-Based Resonant Infrared Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation (RIR-MAPLE) on the Molecular Weight of Polymers

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Department of Chemistry, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 December 2011 / Revised: 29 January 2012 / Accepted: 30 January 2012 / Published: 1 February 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Thin Films and Membranes)
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The molecular weight of a polymer determines key optoelectronic device characteristics, such as internal morphology and charge transport. Therefore, it is important to ensure that polymer deposition techniques do not significantly alter the native polymer molecular weight. This work addresses polymers deposited by resonant infrared matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (RIR-MAPLE). By using a novel emulsion-based target technique, the deposition of smooth, contiguous films with no evidence of chemical degradation have been enabled. However, structural degradation via a reduction in molecular weight remains an open question. The common polymer standard, PMMA, and the optoelectronic polymers, P3HT and MEH-PPV, have been characterized before and after emulsion-based RIR-MAPLE deposition via gel permeation chromatography to determine if RIR-MAPLE affects the deposited polymer molecular weight. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy measurements have also been conducted to verify the absence of chemical degradation. These measurements verify that there is no chemical degradation of the polymers, and that PMMA and P3HT show no structural degradation, but MEH-PPV exhibits a halving of the weight-averaged molecular weight after RIR-MAPLE deposition. Compared with competing laser deposition techniques, RIR-MAPLE is shown to have the least effect on the molecular weight of the resulting thin films. View Full-Text
Keywords: RIR-MAPLE; molecular weight; gel permeation chromatography RIR-MAPLE; molecular weight; gel permeation chromatography

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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McCormick, R.D.; Lenhardt, J.; Stiff-Roberts, A.D. Effects of Emulsion-Based Resonant Infrared Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation (RIR-MAPLE) on the Molecular Weight of Polymers. Polymers 2012, 4, 341-354.

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