Europhys. Lett.
Volume 71, Number 5, September 2005
Page(s) 763 - 769
Section Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 03 August 2005
Europhys. Lett., 71 (5), pp. 763-769 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10162-7

The effects of long-ranged and short-ranged forces in confined near-critical polymeric liquids

C. Carelli1, R. A. L. Jones2, R. N. Young2, R. Cubitt3, R. Krastev4, T. Gutberlet5, R. Dalgliesh6, F. Schmid7 and M. Sferrazza8

1  Department of Physics, University of Surrey - Guildford, UK
2  Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield - Sheffield, UK
3  ILL, Institute Max Von Laue-Paul Langevin - Grenoble, France
4  Hahn-Meitner Institut - Berlin, Germany
5  SINQ, Paul Scherrer Institut - Villigen, Switzerland
6  ISIS, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory - Chilton, UK
7  Fakultät für Physik, Universität Bielefeld - Bielefeld, Germany
8  Département de Physique, Université Libre de Bruxelles Boulevard du Triomphe, CP 223, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium

received 19 April 2005; accepted in final form 8 July 2005
published online 3 August 2005

The relative importance of long- and short-ranged forces on the thermal fluctuations at polymer interfaces was investigated with neutron reflection. Polyolefin blends were synthesised to create polymer pairs with a tuned interaction parameter, allowing the exploration of situations from near criticality to strongly immiscible cases in thin-film systems. We have observed for the polymer interfacial width, a transition from a region where long-ranged forces dominate, at higher degree of incompatibility, to a region approaching criticality where short-ranged truncation forces are more relevant.

61.41.+e - Polymers, elastomers, and plastics.
61.12.Ha - Neutron reflectometry.
68.35.Fx - Diffusion; interface formation.

© EDP Sciences 2005