Low-pressure carbon dioxide enhanced polymer chain mobility below the bulk glass transition temperature

Yong Yang, Mark Ming Cheng Cheng, Xin Hu, Dehua Liu, Richard J. Goyette, L. James Lee, Mauro Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The effects of low-pressure carbon dioxide (CO2) on chain mobility of polystyrene (PS) and poly-(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) thin films coated on a solid surface were studied using PS/deuterated PS/Si and PMMA/deuterated PMMA/SiO2 configurations. The time evolution of chain diffusion below the bulk glass transition temperature (Tg) with and without CO2 was measured by neutron reflectivity. It was found that polymer chains at the interface can self-diffuse at a temperature below their bulk Tg because of higher surface chain mobility and that adding CO2, even at low pressures, can greatly enhance the chain mobility. When the interactions between the polymer chains and the substrate are weak as in the PS/Si configuration, the confining effects of the substrate are not significant, while in the case of the PMMA/SiO2 configuration the interactions are strong enough to confine polymer chains onto the substrate at the nanoscale. Introducing CO2 tends to alleviate this confining effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1108-1111
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 20 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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