Effect of confinement on structural relaxation in ultrathin polymer films investigated by local dielectric spectroscopy

Hung K. Nguyen, Daniele Prevosto, Massimiliano Labardi, Simone Capaccioli, Mauro Lucchesi, Pierangelo Rolla

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The effect of confinement on structural relaxation in ultrathin poly(vinyl acetate) films has been studied by local dielectric spectroscopy. This scanning probe method allows the investigation of dielectric relaxation at nanometer scale of supported ultrathin films having a free surface. Measurements have been performed at ambient pressure and controlled atmosphere on films with decreasing thickness. A deviation of dynamic properties from the bulk behavior, showing up as an increase of the relaxation rate, was observed starting from film thickness of 35 nm, which corresponds to about 3 times the gyration radius of polymer chains. A 2-fold increase of relaxation rate was measured for the thinnest investigated film of 18 nm. Local dielectric spectroscopy is therefore an effective method to elucidate confinement effects on relaxation dynamics in ultrathin polymer films with a free upper surface.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6588-6593
    Number of pages6
    JournalMacromolecules
    Volume44
    Issue number16
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug 23

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Organic Chemistry
    • Polymers and Plastics
    • Inorganic Chemistry
    • Materials Chemistry

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