Table of Contents
Journal of Polymers
Volume 2014, Article ID 541248, 10 pages
Research Article

Characterization by Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy of the Phase Composition at Interfaces in Thick Films of Polymer Blends

1Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica “Ennio De Giorgi”, Universitá del Salento, via per Arnesano, 73100 Lecce, Italy
2Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Innovazione, Universitá del Salento, via per Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy

Received 27 December 2013; Revised 25 February 2014; Accepted 26 February 2014; Published 30 March 2014

Academic Editor: Cornelia Vasile

Copyright © 2014 Sandro Lattante et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM) has been used as a fast, user-friendly, and noninvasive tool for characterizing the phase composition differences at the substrate and air interfaces in thick films of polymer blends. A clearly different phase composition at the blend/glass interface and at the blend/air interface has been detected. We show that PCBM preferentially accumulates at the glass/blend interface, while P3HT preferentially accumulates at the blend/air interface, by comparing the integrated signal intensity of the luminescence coming from both interfaces. Our results demonstrate that CLSM can be used conveniently for the fast identification of a preferential phase segregation at interfaces in polymer blends. This is useful in the research field on devices (like sensors or planar waveguides) that are based on very thick layers (thickness higher than 1 μm).