Rheological analysis of surface relaxation process of monodisperse polystyrene films

Keiji Tanaka, Atsushi Takahara, Tisato Kajiyama

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178 Citations (Scopus)


Surface glass transition temperature, Tgs, of monodisperse polystyrene (PS) films was determined from the temperature dependence of lateral force at a given scanning rate. The end groups of the PS were composed of sec-butyl group and a repeating unit terminated by proton. Tgs of the PS films was discerned to be markedly lower than its bulk Tg, Tgb, in the entire number-average molecular weight, Mn, range, 4.9 K to 1460 K. The Mn dependence of Tgs was analyzed on the basis of a simple power law. The exponent of Mn related to Tgs was -0.60±0.03 in contrast to the power of -0.5 from the Mayes scaling argument that is based on both chain ends being perfectly localized at the surface. This result implies that the surface localization of end groups of the PS used here is not complete. The Tgs extrapolated to the infinite Mn was found to be lower than the corresponding Tgb by approximately 20 K. The apparent activation energy of the surface αa-relaxation process for the PS obtained from Arrhenius plot was 230±10 kJ·mol-1, significantly smaller than that for the bulk PS. Also, it was shown on the basis of Ngai's coupling model that the cooperative motion at the surface can be achieved much easier than its internal bulk phase. Thus, the difference between the Tgs and the Tgb for the infinite Mn PS was explained in terms of the size and/or energy barrier reduction of the cooperative movement for the surface αa-relaxation process, which might be arisen from the existence of the free space presented to polymer segments at the surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7588-7593
Number of pages6
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 3 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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