A criterion for dewetting initiation from surface disturbances on ultrathin polymer films

Ioannis Karapanagiotis, William W Gerberich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nanoindentation-induced defects on ultrathin (h = 17 nm) polystyrene (PS) films that are spin cast on silicon (Si) substrates, with residual depths of penetration lower than the film thickness (<17 nm), can either grow to initiate dewetting or level, which results in a flat polymer surface, upon heating above the glass-transition temperature (T g). The excess surface energy (ΔF γ) of the system, which is added to the initially flat coating with the formation of an indent, provides a critical value, ΔF γ,crit = 6.1 × 10 -16 J, which determines indent evolution upon annealing. An indent grows when ΔF γ > ΔF γ,crit and levels when ΔF γ < ΔF γ,crit. This conclusion is in agreement with previous reports, which used ΔF γ to distinguish the two (dewetting/leveling) opposing processes (1) in the case of indents deeper than the film thickness and (2) in the case of built-in ordered surface disturbances by capillary force lithography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9194-9198
Number of pages5
JournalLangmuir
Volume21
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 27 2005

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