Citation: Xu, L.; Shi, T. F.; An, L. J.; Lu, Y. Y.; Wang, L. N. Effect of interfacial adsorption on the stability of thin polymer films in a solvent-induced process. Chinese J. Polym. Sci. 2021, 39, 501–511 doi: 10.1007/s10118-020-2493-8 shu

Effect of Interfacial Adsorption on the Stability of Thin Polymer Films in a Solvent-induced Process

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  • The stability of ultrathin polymer films plays a crucial role in their technological applications. Here, we systematically investigated the influence of interfacial adsorption in physical aging and the stability of thin polymer films in the solvent-induced process. We further identify the stability mechanism from the theory of thin film stability. Our results show that the aging temperature and film thickness can strongly influence the stability of thin PS films in acetone vapor. Physical aging can greatly improve the stability of thin polymer films when the aging temperature Taging1>Tg. A thinner PS film more quickly reaches a stable state via physical aging. At short aging time, the formation of the adsorbed layer can reduce the polar interaction; however, it slightly influences the stability of thin polymer films in the solvent-induced process. At later aging stage, the conformational rearrangement of the polymer chains induced by the interfacial effect at the aging temperature Taging1 plays an important role in stabilizing the thin polymer films. However, at Taging2<Tg, the process of physical aging slightly influences the stability of the thin polymer films. The formation of the adsorbed layer at Taging2 can reduce the short-range polar interaction of the thin film system and cannot suppress the instability of thin polymer films in the solvent-induced process. These results provide further insight into the stable mechanism of thin polymer films in the solvent-induced process.
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