The structure of thin polymer blend films of polystyrene (PS) and poly-n-butyl-methacrylate (PnBMA) was examined with Transmission X-ray Microscopy (TXM), Scanning Force Microscopy (SFM), X-Ray Photoemission Electron Microscopy (X-PEEM) and Optical Microscopy (OM). Thin films were prepared by spin casting of a toluene solution of the polymer mixture onto silicon wafers retaining the native oxide. Depending on blend composition and annealing conditions smooth films with and without holes or films with well pronounced surface features (ribbons or islands) were produced. By TXM measurements a high lateral resolution study of the as cast and the annealed polymer blend samples was performed. The contrast in TXM is due to different absorption of x-radiation of the used polymers and due to variation in thickness. With X-PEEM the lateral distribution of the two polymers near the surface was mapped by employing the characteristic Near Edge X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (NEXAFS) spectra of the polymers. The TXM technique is a microscopic method integrating over the total film thickness, whereas the X-PEEM technique is a highly surface sensitive method. TXM and X-PEEM are therefore complementary methods which provide important information on the structure of thin polymer blend films additional to the standard techniques SFM and OM.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.