Film thickness effects on the distribution of high-molecular-weight heterotelechelic polymers

L. R. Hutchings*, R. W. Richards, R. L. Thompson, D. G. Bucknall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


High-molecular-weight heterotelechelic deuteriopolystyrene, NDPSF, possessing an amine functional group at one end of the chain and a fluorocarbon group at the other was tethered to a silicon substrate by its amine functional group. These layers were coated with an unfunctionalised polystyrene matrix, HPS, such that the total film. Thickness covered a range from 2.2 to 9 times the radius of gyration of NDPSF. The detailed distribution of the polymers after annealing for times much greater than the reptation period of either of the components, was obtained using neutron reflectometry. No evidence for bridging of the two interfaces was found for the thicker films, but the finite concentration of the NDPSF polymer observed for the thinnest films may be due to bridging since the energy gain of the fluorocarbon end is just greater than the loss due to configurational entropy losses. A linear increase in the ellipsometric thickness of the excess of NDPSF at the substrate was discovered and we attribute this to the NDPSF slowly being leached out of the layer initially at the substrate followed by diffusion into the bulk of the film. The concentration profiles obtained are consistent with hindered relaxation of the large NDPSF molecules, when they are tethered at the substrate or at the vacuum surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Physical Journal E
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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