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Soft Matter and Biological Physics

Eur. Phys. J. E 6, 25-28 (2001)

Spin-cast, thin, glassy polymer films: Highly metastable forms of matter

G. Reiter1 and P.G. de Gennes2

1  Institut de Chimie des Surfaces et Interfaces, 15 rue J. Starcky, 68057 Mulhouse Cedex, France
2  Collège de France, 11 place M. Berthelot, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France

(Received 1 March 2001 and Received in final form 10 May 2001)

Ultra thin films of glassy polymers such as polystyrene (PS) can show a) anomalously large thickness changes, b) unexpected dewetting properties, c) large shifts in the glass temperature Tg. The present discussion focusses mainly on point a). A certain cascade of metastable states is presented together with (tentative) explanations.

68.60.-p - Physical properties of thin films, nonelectronic.
61.41.+e - Polymers, elastomers, and plastics.
68.55.-a - Thin film structure and morphology.

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2001