Liquid dewetting of ultrathin polystyrene films: Is there a molecular architecture effect?

James R. Tata, Astrid K. Torres Arellano, Gregory B. McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have used a liquid dewetting method to investigate the glass transition temperature Tg of high molecular weight linear, long branched 3-arm star, and short branched 8-arm star polystyrene (PS) in the form of ultrathin films. The results of these dewetting experiments are consistent with prior studies of dewetting of linear PS films and show that, independent of molecular architecture, the glass transition temperature Tg reductions with decreasing film thickness, while important below about 20 nm, are weaker than those observed for linear PS supported on a rigid substrate and as well as those observed in freely standing films. The lack of a strong molecular architecture effect on the Tg-reductions is consistent with the Tg reductions for the dewetting from a liquid substrate reflects changes in segmental dynamics upon confinement rather than chain effects. This contrasts with changes, including increases seen in dewetting from a rigid substrate, for different molecular architectures reported in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Polymer Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021


  • glass transition temperature
  • linear polystyrene
  • liquid dewetting
  • star polystyrene
  • ultrathin films


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