Journal of Spectroscopy

Journal of Spectroscopy / 2004 / Article

Open Access

Volume 18 |Article ID 526415 | 9 pages |

Physical characterisation of microporous and nanoporous polymer films by atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and high speed video microphotography


We report studies of ordered microporous and nanoporous polymer films formed by the evaporation of polymer solutions following exposure to a humid atmosphere. High speed microphotographic (HSMP) studies of the formation process showed that near the surface of the polymer solution, vapour condensation produced near mono-disperse water droplets which form a close-packed monolayer (or ‘breath figure’). Following the evaporation of the solvent, characterisation of the solid by Atomic Force Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy revealed that the surface of the polymer film is characterised by extensive regions of hexagonally close-packed microscopic pores, whose spatial arrangement replicates that of the initial droplet monolayer. Characterisation of sections of the film by Atomic Force Microscopy established that the surficial pores represent open sections of sub-surficial spheroidal cavities formed by encapsulation of the water droplets within the polymer solution. An interesting feature of the results is the occurrence of nano-scale pores at the film surface and at (and within) the walls of the sub-surficial microscopic pores. This is the first physical evidence report of such features in porous polymer films produced by a process involving breath-figures. Their dimensions suggest that more detailed structural investigations will require alternative techniques to conventional, optical methods.

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.

More related articles

108 Views | 811 Downloads | 35 Citations
 PDF  Download Citation  Citation
 Order printed copiesOrder

Related articles

We are committed to sharing findings related to COVID-19 as quickly and safely as possible. Any author submitting a COVID-19 paper should notify us at to ensure their research is fast-tracked and made available on a preprint server as soon as possible. We will be providing unlimited waivers of publication charges for accepted articles related to COVID-19. Sign up here as a reviewer to help fast-track new submissions.