Deuterium NMR and modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC) were used to probe the behavior of ultrathin adsorbed poly(methyl acrylate) (PMA). The spectra for the bulk methyl-labeled PMA-d3 were consistent with the motions of the polymer segments being spatially homogeneous. For the polymers adsorbed on silica, multicomponent line shapes were observed. The segmental mobility of the surface polymers increased with increased adsorbed amounts. In contrast to the behavior of the polymers in bulk, the adsorbed lower-molecular-mass PMA-d3 was less mobile than the adsorbed high-molecular-mass polymer. The presence of a polymer overlayer was sufficient to suppress the enhanced mobility of the more-mobile segments of the adsorbed (inner) polymer. MDSC studies on adsorbed poly(methyl methacrylate) showed that the glass-transition temperature of the thin polymer films increased and broadened compared to the behavior of the polymer in bulk. The presence of a motional gradient with the less-mobile segments near the solid-polymer interface and the more-mobile segments near the polymer-air interface was consistent with the experimental observations.




National Science Foundation (U.S.)

Keywords and Phrases

Deuterium; Differential Scanning Calorimetry; Glass Transition; Interfaces (Materials); Molecular Dynamics; Polymethyl Methacrylates; Silica

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2003 Springer-Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2003