Thermal Characterization of PMMA Thin Films on Silica Using Modulated Differential Scanning Calorimetry
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The number of studies of thin polymer films has increased over recent years as technological processes incorporate the use of nanomaterials. An enhanced understanding of these films would enable us to predict bound-polymer behavior and thus improve the efficiency of processes and the quality of products. This is especially true as the thickness of the films approach molecular dimensions. The glass transition temperature of a polymer is one of the most important properties for characterization because it indicates how the polymer might perform macroscopically. when a polymer is confined, such as one the surface of a substrate, its behavior is influenced by molecular interactions between the polymer and the substrate. These interactions may affect the polymer's glass transition temperature and warrant scientific investigation. This study uses modulated differential scanning calorimetric (MDSC) to examine the glass transition of poly (methyl methacrylate) adsorbed onto silica. We varied the amount of polymer adsorbed, and found that the Tg center and its breadth increased with decreased coverage. T o our knowledge this is the first reported analysis of such very thin polymer films using MDSC.