Dynamic and temperature dependent response of physical vapor deposited Se in freely standing nanometric thin films

Heedong Yoon, Gregory B. McKenna

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Here, we report results from an investigation of nano-scale size or confinement effects on the glass transition and viscoelastic properties of physical vapor deposited selenium films. The viscoelastic response of freely standing Se films was determined using a biaxial membrane inflation or bubble inflation method [P. A. O'Connell and G. B. McKenna, Science 307, 1760-1763 (2005)] on films having thicknesses from 60 to 267 nm and over temperatures ranging from Tg, macroscopic - 15 °C to Tg, macroscopic + 21 °C. Time-temperature superposition and time-thickness superposition were found to hold for the films in the segmental dispersion. The responses are compared with macroscopic creep and recoverable creep compliance data for selenium [K. M. Bernatz et al., J. Non-Cryst. Solids 307, 790-801 (2002)]. The time-temperature shift factors for the thin films show weaker temperature dependence than seen in the macroscopic behavior, being near to Arrhenius-like in their temperature dependence. Furthermore, the Se films exhibit a "rubbery-like" stiffening that increases as film thickness decreases similar to prior observations [P. A. O'Connell et al., Macromolecules 45(5), 2453-2459 (2012)] for organic polymers. In spite of the differences from the macroscopic behavior in the temperature dependence of the viscoelastic response, virtually no change in Tg as determined from the thickness dependence of the retardation time defining Tg was observed in the bubble inflation creep experiments to thicknesses as small as 60 nm. We also find that the observed rubbery stiffening is consistent with the postulate of K. L. Ngai et al. [J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 51(3), 214-224 (2013)] that it should correlate with the change of the macroscopic segmental relaxation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number184501
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 14 2016


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