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Elongated phase separation domains in spin-cast polymer blend thin films characterized using a panoramic image

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Abstract

Polymer thin films with micro/nano-structures can be prepared by a solvent evaporation induced phase separation process via spin-casting a polymer blend, where the elongated phase separation domains are always inevitable. The striation defect, as a thickness nonunifomity in spin-cast films, is generally coexistent with the elongated domains. Herein, the morphologies of polymer blend thin films are recorded from the spin-cast center to the edge in a panoramic view. The elongated domains are inclined to appear at the ridge regions of striations with increasing radial distance and align radially, exhibiting a coupling between the phase separation morphology and the striation defect that may exist. We demonstrate that the formation of elongated domains is not attributed to shape deformation, but is accomplished in situ. A possible model to describe the initiation and evolution of the polymer blend phase separation morphology during spin-casting is proposed.

Graphical abstract: Elongated phase separation domains in spin-cast polymer blend thin films characterized using a panoramic image

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Oct 2017, accepted on 02 Jan 2018 and first published on 02 Jan 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02144E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article
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    Elongated phase separation domains in spin-cast polymer blend thin films characterized using a panoramic image

    H. Zhang and Y. Okamura, Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM02144E

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