Investigation of the melt interface between polyethylene and polystyrene using neutron reflectivity

H. E. Hermes, J. S. Higgins, D. G. Bucknall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The characteristics of the interface between immiscible polymers, semicrystalline polyethylene (PE) and amorphous deuterated polystyrene (dPS), were determined in the melt state, using the neutron reflectivity technique. The neutron reflectivity profiles of PE-dPS bilayer samples were measured in situ at 150°C in the melt regime giving a melt interfacial roughness, σ12, of 1.18 ± 0.33 nm. The measured interfacial width consists of a true interfacial width, lt, convoluted with a width, l0. The latter has been variously described by a number of authors as a capillary wave interfacial width or an initial width. From the true interfacial width the Flory-Huggins-Stavermann interaction parameter, χ, was calculated. The calculated values of χ were shown to differ by almost an order of magnitude from each other depending on the definition of l0 used. These values are compared with other values of χ obtained via theoretical interpretations of interfacial tension measurements and solubility parameter determination. It is shown that neither definition of l0 is totally satisfactory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-989
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Flory-Huggins χ parameter
  • Neutron reflectivity
  • Polystyrene-polyethylene interface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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