Direct observation of morphological development during the spin-coating of polystyrene-poly(methyl methacrylate) polymer blends

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Abstract

We present results of the direct observation, in real-space, of the phase separation of high molecular weight polystyrene and poly(methyl methacrylate) from ortho-xylene using our newly developed technique of high speed stroboscopic interference microscopy. Taking a fixed concentration (3 wt % in o-xylene) at a fixed composition (1:4 by weight) and by varying the rotational rate during the spin-coating process, we are able to observe the formation of a range of phase separated bicontinuous morphologies of differing length-scales. Importantly, we are able to show that the mechanism by which the final phase separated structure is formed is through domain coarsening when rich in solvent, before vitrification occurs and fixes the phase separated structure. The ability to directly observe morphological development offers a route toward controlling the length-scale of the final morphology through process control and in situ feedback, from a single stock solution.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-881
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Polymer Science: Part B - Polymer Physics
Volume51
Issue number11
Early online date27 Mar 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

    Keywords

  • morphology, phase separation, polymer blends, spin coating

DOI

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