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Effect of Substrate Surface on Dewetting Behavior and Chain Orientation of Semicrystalline Block Copolymer Thin Films

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journal contribution
posted on 07.12.2006, 00:00 by Guo-Dong Liang, Jun-Ting Xu, Zhi-Qiang Fan, Shao-Min Mai, Anthony J. Ryan
Three symmetrical semicrystalline oxyethylene/oxybutylene block copolymers (EmBn) were spin-coated on different substrates including silicon, hydrophobically modified silicon, and mica. The effects of surface property on the dewetting behavior of EmBn thin films and the chain orientation of the crystalline block were investigated with atomic force microscopy and grazing incidence X-ray diffraction . The EmBn thin films on silicon exhibit an autophobic dewetting behavior, while ordinary dewetting occurs for the thin films on modified silicon. It was observed that the stems of the E crystals in the first half-polymer layer contacting the mica surface were parallel to the surface, in contrast to the perpendicular chain orientation of the other polymer layers and of the first half-polymer layer on silicon. This is attributed to the strong interaction between the E block and mica, verified by infrared spectra.