Thin Polymer Film Force Spectroscopy: Single Chain Pull-out and Desorption

2020-01-14T13:08:08Z (GMT) by Jake McClements Vasileios Koutsos
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was utilized to investigate the force associated with chain pull-out and single chain desorption of poly­(styrene-co-butadiene) random copolymer thin films on mica, silicon, and graphite substrates. Chain pull-out events were common and produced a force of 20–25 pN. The polymer desorption force was strongest on the graphite substrate and weakest on the mica, which agreed with the calculated work of adhesion for each system and the substrate hydrophobicity. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that there was a systematic order to when each of these phenomena occurred during the tip retraction from the surface, which provided information about the structure of the thin films.