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We have used Brillouin light scattering (BLS) to measure the glass transition temperature of thin, freely-standing poly(styrene) (PS) films. The freely-standing films were prepared by spincoating solutions of PS in toluene onto glass substrates, annealing the supported films in vacuum, and then using a water surface transfer technique to place the films across a 3 mm diameter orifice. Ellipsometry measurements of similar floated films transferred to Si(001) wafers allow the determination of the film thicknesses. Atomic force microscopy measurements revealed that the films have an rms roughness of less than 10 A˚. With the freely-standing films placed in an optical furnace, we performed BLS measurements of the films using a high-contrast, multipassed, tandem Fabry-Perot interferometer. We obtained a reliable, reproducible measure of the glass transition temperature, Tg, from the large changes in the frequencies of the thermally-excited, viscoelastic, film-guided waves within the PS films as the films were heated above Tg. BLS results for bulk PS and a 1800 A˚ thick, freely-standing PS film are presented. We find the same glass transition temperature for the 1800 A˚ thick film as the bulk PS sample. This Tg value is the same as that obtained using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC).
We present a study of the effect of elevated temperatures on the high frequency viscoelastic waves guided by thin films of poly(styrene) [PS] and poly(methyl methacrylate) [PMMA]. The films, which are spincoated onto Si(OOl) wafers, have thicknesses h ˜ 1000 Å. The frequencies and linewidths of the film-guided waves were measured using Brillouin light scattering (BLS). In both PS and PMMA, we observed guided waves for temperatures above the glass transition temperature Tg of the polymers, however, the damping of the waves for temperatures above Tg was significantly higher for PS. We observed no significant (< 1 %) difference between room temperature guided-wave frequencies for films annealed at temperatures below and above Tg for PS, and a slight (4 %) increase in the wave frequency for PMMA following annealing at a temperature above Tg. The heating effects due to the focussing of the laser beam on the film surface are quite small (˜ 16°C/100 mW laser power).
We have used Brillouin scattering to study the dependence of the elastic constants of uniaxial polymeric Langmuir-Blodgett thin films on the thickness of the polymeric molecule monolayers. With increasing monolayer thickness, an overall decrease in the elastic constants and an increase in the refractive index n33 was observed.
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