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.
- Soft Matter
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry