Thermally driven collapse of a polymer brush in a polymer matrix

Michele Sferrazza*, Richard A L Jones, David G. Bucknall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The segment density profile of end-functionalized deuterated polystyrene (d-PS) brush in a miscible poly-(vinyl methyl ether) (PVME) polymer matrix was studied using neutron reflectivity. Brushes were chemically anchored to a silicon substrate. PVME has a favorable interaction with PS at room temperature. As the temperature increases, the interaction between PS and PVME becomes more unfavorable until in the bulk phase separation would occur. From the reflectivity experiments, it was found that the PVME was expelled from the brush as the temperature was increased. This process was reversible for temperatures up to 90°C; above this the volume fraction in the brush approached unity and macroscopic dewetting occurred. The height of the brush was sufficiently well predicted by a scaling theory, which predicts a cube root dependence on the Flory-Huggins interaction parameter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4434-4440
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics


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