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Determination of cross-link density in ion-irradiated polystyrene surfaces from rippling

: Karade, Y.; Pihan, S.A.; Brünger, W.H.; Dietzel, A.; Berger, R.; Graf, K.


Langmuir. The ACS journal of surfaces and colloids 25 (2009), No.5, pp.3108-3114
ISSN: 0743-7463
ISSN: 1520-5827
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISIT ()

The irradiation of polymer surfaces with ion beams leads to pronounced chemical and physical modifications when the ions are scattered at the atoms in the polymer chain. In this way, different products of decomposition occur. Here we show that by changing the ion fluence and the mass of the ion the local mechanical properties as Young's modulus of a polystyrene surface layer can be tailored. By annealing prestretched irradiated PS near the glass transition, surface rippling occurs in the irradiated areas only, which can be described with an elastic model. The moduli obtained from rippling periodicities and elastic model assumptions are in the range between 8 and 800 MPa at the glass transition and characterize the irradiated PS as rubberlike. From these values the network density and the molar mass of entanglement are quantified. The obtained network density equals the density of hydrogen vacancies generated through the scattered ions, as confirmed by simulations of the atomic scattering and displacement processes. The obtained molar mass of entanglement reveals that the PS locally was densely cross-linked. Our results show that even for nondiscrete layered polymer systems relevant polymer parameters can be derived from the well-known surface rippling without the need for costly chemical analysis.