Swelling structure of thin poly(methyl methacrylate) films in various alkyl length alcohols

Hironori Atarashi, Hiroshi Morita, Dai Yamazaki, Masahiro Hino, Toshihiko Nagamura, Keiji Tanaka

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Thin films of a typical glassy polymer in alcohol nonsolvents were structurally characterized by specular neutron reflectivity (NR) and were found to be discernibly swollen. The extent of penetration by the nonsolvent was determined by the chain length of the alcohol. Treating this situation as one of a macroscopic phase separation, the interaction Χ parameters for the polymer and nonsolvents combinations were extracted. This observation leads us to investigate the factors that control the nonsolvent/polymer interface, being an unusual example of a liquid/liquid interface. The fractional amount of nonsolvents at the substrate interface was higher than that in the internal region of the film. This segregation of a component in a phase-separated domain was explained in terms of an entropic factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-885
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 4 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Macromolecules
  • Soft Matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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