Influence of osmotic pressure on nanostructures in thin films of a weakly-segregated block copolymer and its blends with a homopolymer

Yi Fang Chen, Jia Wen Hong, Jung Hong Chang, Belda Amelia Junisu, Ya Sen Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We studied the influence of osmotic pressure on nanostructures in thin films of a symmetric weakly-segregated polystyrene-block-poly (methyl methacrylate), P(S-b-MMA), block copolymer and its mixtures with a polystyrene (PS) homopolymer of various compositions. Thin films were deposited on substrates through surface neutralization. The surface neutralization results from the PS mats, which were oxidized and cross-linked by UV-light exposure. Thus, thermal annealing produced perpendicularly oriented lamellae and perforated layers, depending on the content of added PS chains. Nevertheless, a mixed orientation was obtained from cylinders in thin films, where a high content of PS was blended with the P(S-b-MMA). A combination of UV-light exposure and acetic acid rinsing was used to remove the PMMA block. Interestingly, the treatment of PMMA removal inevitably produced osmotic pressure and consequently resulted in surface wrinkling of perpendicular lamellae. As a result, a hierarchical structure with two periodicities was obtained for wrinkled films with perpendicular lamellae. The formation of surface wrinkling is due to the interplay between UV-light exposure and acetic acid rinsing. UV-light exposure resulted in different mechanical properties between the skin and the inner region of a film. Acetic acid rinsing produced osmotic pressure. It was found that surface wrinkling could be suppressed by reducing film thickness, increasing PS content and using high-molecular-weight P(S-b-MMA) BCPs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2480
JournalPolymers
Volume13
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Block copolymer
  • Surface wrinkling
  • Thin film

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