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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 539457, 7 pages
Research Article

Structural Evolution of Low-Molecular-Weight Poly(ethylene oxide)-block-polystyrene Diblock Copolymer Thin Film

1College of Material Engineering, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
2Key Laboratory of New Processing Technology for Nonferrous Metal & Materials of Ministry of Education, Guangxi Scientific Experiment Center of Mining, Metallurgy and Environment, and School of Material Science and Engineering, Guilin University of Technology, Guilin 541004, China

Received 29 August 2013; Accepted 23 September 2013

Academic Editors: G. Jiang, H. Lu, and D. Ryu

Copyright © 2013 Hui Wu and Xiaohua Huang. 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.


The structural evolution of low-molecular-weight poly(ethylene oxide)-block-polystyrene (PEO-b-PS) diblock copolymer thin film with various initial film thicknesses on silicon substrate under thermal annealing was investigated by atomic force microscopy, optical microscopy, and contact angle measurement. At film thickness below half of the interlamellar spacing of the diblock copolymer (6.2 nm), the entire silicon is covered by a polymer brush with PEO blocks anchored on the Si substrate due to the substrate-induced effect. When the film is thicker than 6.2 nm, a dense polymer brush which is equal to half of an interlamellar layer was formed on the silicon, while the excess material dewet this layer to form droplets. The droplet surface was rich with PS block and the PEO block crystallized inside the bigger droplet to form spherulite.