Effect of substrate interactions on the melting behavior of thin polyethylene films
Department of Chemistry and Physics, Lamar University, PO Box 10022, Beaumont, TX, 77710, USA
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Published online: 9 July 2008
Polymer films have been known to change their physical properties when film thickness is decreased below a certain value. The cause of this phenomenon is still unclear but it has been suggested that interactions and/or chain free-volume changes at the surface of the films are largely responsible for this behavior. In this paper, the effect of substrate interactions on the behavior of polymer thin films is evaluated quantitatively. The infrared spectra of nanothin polyethylene (PE) films were recorded as a function of temperature and amount of substrate covering the surface of the film. The evolution of specific bands in the CH2 rocking region of the spectra was used to determine the melting temperature (T m ) of the material. Results show different variations in T m depending on the nature of the substrate, indicating that interactions dominate free-volume considerations in PE thin films. By varying the amount of surface coverage, a quantitative estimate of the heat of interaction was determined, which confirmed the importance of surface interactions.
PACS: 64.70.dj Melting of specific substances – / 64.70.km Polymers – / 68.60.Dv Thermal stability; thermal effects –
© Springer, 2008