Title: Dielectric relaxations in ultra-thin films of PMMA: Assessing the length scale of cooperativity in the dynamic glass transition
Authors: W├╝bbenhorst, Michael
Murray, C.A.
Forrest, J.A.
Dutcher, J.R. #
Issue Date: Oct-2002
Publisher: IEEE Service Center
Host Document: Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Electrets pages:401-406
Conference: International Symposium on Electrets edition:11 date:1-3 October 2002
Abstract: The local and cooperative dynamics of supported ultra-thin films (L = 4-170 nm) of poly(methyl methacrylate) was investigated by dielectric spectroscopy at frequencies from 0.1 Hz to 10/sup 6/ Hz and temperatures from 250-423 K. To assess the effect of stereoregularity, three tacticities (i, a and s-PMMA) of similar molecular weight M/sub n/ = 120-140/spl times/10/sup 3/ g mol/sup -1/ were studied. A second M/sub n/ value for s-PMMA was also studied. For i-PMMA, a decrease of the glass transition temperature T/sub g/ by up to 10 K was observed for a film thickness L < 25 nm (which is comparable to R/sub EE/), indicated by a down-shift of the peak temperature T/sub /spl alpha// in the loss /spl epsiv/"(T) at low and high frequencies and by a shift of the maximum in the apparent activation energy E/sub a/(T) of the /spl alpha/-process. Changes in the relaxation strength and the peak shape are apparent for L /spl les/ 50 nm. In addition, the /spl beta/-relaxation probing the local mobility was investigated for i-, a- and s- PMMA. Interestingly, all polymers revealed a systematic speedup in the local dynamics for L < 25 nm which is accompanied by systematic changes in the relaxation strength. For i-PMMA, a clear relation between the thickness dependence of /spl tau//sub /spl beta// and /spl tau//sub /spl alpha// was found indicating that thickness dependences in the cooperative dynamics are predominantly induced by changes in the local mobility. These findings are consistent with the idea of confinement induced changes in the orientation and conformation statistics for thicknesses below R/sub EE/.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IC
Appears in Collections:Soft Matter and Biophysics
# (joint) last author

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