We demonstrate the potential of spectroscopic ellipsometry for the investigation of the chain segment density profile and layer thickness during the temperature-induced, reversible collapse−expansion transition of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) grafted layers with variable grafting densities in aqueous systems. To obtain a quantitative description of the thickness of our swollen PNIPAM layers, various models were implemented to fit the ellipsometric data. From the ellipsometry results, the density and thickness variation accompanying the collapse transition across the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) was characterized. The collapse can be adequately explained by considering the PNIPAM film to consist of two layers: (i) a dense layer near the surface and (ii) a more diluted layer with a gradient density profile on the side of the film exposed to the solvent.
|Name||MRS Online Proceedings Library|
|Conference||MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit 2013|
|Period||1/04/13 → 5/04/13|