Insights into the influence of solvent polarity on the crystallization of poly(ethylene oxide) spin-coated thin films via in situ grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering

Daniel T.W. Toolan, Anna Isakova, Richard Hodgkinson, Nik Reeves-McLaren, Oliver S. Hammond, Karen J. Edler, Wuge H. Briscoe, Thomas Arnold, Tim Gough, Paul D. Topham, Jonathan R. Howse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Controlling polymer thin-film morphology and crystallinity is crucial for a wide range of applications, particularly in thin-film organic electronic devices. In this work, the crystallization behavior of a model polymer, poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO), during spin-coating is studied. PEO films were spun-cast from solvents possessing different polarities (chloroform, THF, and methanol) and probed via in situ grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering. The crystallization behavior was found to follow the solvent polarity order (where chloroform < THF < methanol) rather than the solubility order (where THF > chloroform > methanol). When spun-cast from nonpolar chloroform, crystallization largely followed Avrami kinetics, resulting in the formation of morphologies comprising large spherulites. PEO solutions cast from more polar solvents (THF and methanol) do not form well-defined highly crystalline morphologies and are largely amorphous with the presence of small crystalline regions. The difference in morphological development of PEO spun-cast from polar solvents is attributed to clustering phenomena that inhibit polymer crystallization. This work highlights the importance of considering individual components of polymer solubility, rather than simple total solubility, when designing processing routes for the generation of morphologies with optimum crystallinities or morphologies.
LanguageEnglish
Pages4579–4586
Number of pages8
JournalMacromolecules
Volume49
Issue number12
Early online date20 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2016

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Crystallization
Polyethylene oxides
X ray scattering
Chloroform
Chlorine compounds
Thin films
Methanol
Polymers
Solubility
Crystalline materials
Spin coating
Polymer films
Kinetics
Processing

Bibliographical note

This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Macromolecules, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher.
To access the final edited and published work see http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.6b00312

Cite this

Toolan, Daniel T.W. ; Isakova, Anna ; Hodgkinson, Richard ; Reeves-McLaren, Nik ; Hammond, Oliver S. ; Edler, Karen J. ; Briscoe, Wuge H. ; Arnold, Thomas ; Gough, Tim ; Topham, Paul D. ; Howse, Jonathan R. / Insights into the influence of solvent polarity on the crystallization of poly(ethylene oxide) spin-coated thin films via in situ grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering. In: Macromolecules. 2016 ; Vol. 49, No. 12. pp. 4579–4586.
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Toolan, DTW, Isakova, A, Hodgkinson, R, Reeves-McLaren, N, Hammond, OS, Edler, KJ, Briscoe, WH, Arnold, T, Gough, T, Topham, PD & Howse, JR 2016, 'Insights into the influence of solvent polarity on the crystallization of poly(ethylene oxide) spin-coated thin films via in situ grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering' Macromolecules, vol. 49, no. 12, pp. 4579–4586. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.6b00312

Insights into the influence of solvent polarity on the crystallization of poly(ethylene oxide) spin-coated thin films via in situ grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering. / Toolan, Daniel T.W.; Isakova, Anna; Hodgkinson, Richard; Reeves-McLaren, Nik; Hammond, Oliver S.; Edler, Karen J.; Briscoe, Wuge H.; Arnold, Thomas; Gough, Tim; Topham, Paul D.; Howse, Jonathan R.

In: Macromolecules, Vol. 49, No. 12, 28.06.2016, p. 4579–4586.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Hodgkinson, Richard

AU - Reeves-McLaren, Nik

AU - Hammond, Oliver S.

AU - Edler, Karen J.

AU - Briscoe, Wuge H.

AU - Arnold, Thomas

AU - Gough, Tim

AU - Topham, Paul D.

AU - Howse, Jonathan R.

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