Europhys. Lett.
Volume 73, Number 1, January 2006
Page(s) 35 - 41
Section Electromagnetism, optics, acoustics, heat transfer, classical mechanics, and fluid dynamics
Published online 07 December 2005
Europhys. Lett., 73 (1), pp. 35-41 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10369-6

Creation of multi-scale stripe-like patterns in thin polymer blend films

P. Müller-Buschbaum1, E. Bauer1, S. Pfister1, S. V. Roth2, M. Burghammer2, C. Riekel2, C. David3 and U. Thiele4

1  TU München, Physik-Dept. E13 - James-Franck-Str. 1, 85747 Garching, Germany
2  ESRF - BP 220, F-38043 Grenoble Cedex 09, France
3  Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology, PSI - CH-5232 Villigen, Switzerland
4  MPI für Physik komplexer Systeme - Nöthnitzer Str. 38, D-01187 Dresden, Germany

received 21 April 2005; accepted in final form 9 November 2005
published online 7 December 2005

Multiscale polymeric patterns resulting from flow on an inclined substrate of a binary polymer blend solution of polystyrene and poly-n-butylacrylate in toluene are analyzed with sub-microbeam GISAXS and real space techniques. The locally isotropic phase-separation structure on the 1 micron scale, including a molecular substructure, is embedded in a superstructure on the 100 micron scale of stripe-like variations of film thickness and composition oriented perpendicular to the flow direction. It is argued that the multiscale pattern results from the interplay of evaporation, convective flow, differential diffusion and spinodal decomposition.

47.54.+r - Pattern selection; pattern formation.
81.05.Lg - Polymers and plastics; rubber; synthetic and natural fibers; organometallic and organic materials.
68.15.+e - Liquid thin films.

© EDP Sciences 2005