A liquid dewetting method for the determination of the viscoelastic properties of ultrathin polymer films has been extended to study thickness effects on the properties of ultrathin polycarbonate (PC) films. PC films with film thicknesses ranging from 4 to 299 nm were placed on glycerol at temperatures from below the macroscopic glass transition temperature (Tg) to above it with the dewetting responses being monitored. It is found that the isothermal creep results for films of the same thickness, but dewetted at different temperatures can be superposed into one master curve, which is consistent with the fact of PC being a thermorheologically simple material. Furthermore, the results show that the Tg of PC thin films is thickness dependent, but the dependence is weaker than the results for freely standing films and similar to literature data for PC films supported on rigid substrates. It was also found that the rubbery plateau region for the PC films stiffens dramatically, but still less than what has been observed for freely standing polycarbonate films. The rubbery stiffening is discussed in terms of a recently reported model that relates macroscopic segmental dynamics with the stiffening.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics|
|State||Published - Nov 15 2015|
- glass transition temperature
- thin films