Tips and Tricks - Soft Matter
Nanoscale surface roughness induced by poor solvents on polymer film surfaces
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. W, N2L 3G1, Waterloo, ON, Canada
2 Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, 1151 Richmond St, N6A 5C1, London, ON, Canada
Accepted: 26 September 2022
Published online: 26 October 2022
We describe a new nanoscale morphology that is produced when polymer surfaces are exposed to a poor solvent. We have measured the morphology on polystyrene surfaces after exposure to pentane, heptane, or dodecane as well as poly(methyl methacrylate) exposed to propanol or methanol. The length scale of the morphology was determined by analyzing images obtained by atomic force microscopy. For the case of polystyrene, we perform a detailed characterization of the morphology for all solvents and molecular weight values ranging from 8 to 995 kg/mol. Comparing the results to models of dimpling morphology in densely grafted chains suggests the same mechanism is responsible.
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