Creep behavior of ultra-thin polymer films

Paul A. O'Connell, Stephen A. Hutcheson, Gregory B. McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


A novel microbubble inflation method has been used to determine the creep compliance of poly(vinyl acetate) and polystyrene ultra-thin films (13-300 nm thick) at temperatures from below to above the glass temperature. We present results that suggest that time-temperature and time-thickness superposition hold in the glassy relaxation regime. Although time-temperature superposition is found for the entire response curve for each thickness, we also find that time-thickness superposition fails as the long-time compliance is approached. This effect occurs because of a strong stiffening as the film thickness decreases. We also show first evidence of stiffening in the glassy regime of free standing films of polystyrene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1952-1965
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2008


  • Creep
  • Creep compliance
  • Glass transition
  • Mechanical properties
  • Membrane inflation
  • Nanomechanics
  • Rheology
  • Rubbery compliance
  • Thin films
  • Ultra-thin polymer films
  • Viscoelasticity


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