Effect of confinement on stiffness and fracture of thin amorphous polymer films

Jung Hyun Lee, Jun Young Chung, Christopher M. Stafford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


The elastic modulus, fracture strength, and onset fracture strain of supported glassy polystyrene films with a thickness ranging from 250 to 9 nm were quantitatively determined by a recently developed wrinkling-cracking method. Films with a thickness below about 40 nm showed a decrease in both elastic modulus and fracture strength with decreasing film thickness, whereas the onset fracture strain was shown to increase. The observed variations in mechanical properties with respect to the bulk counterparts support the notion that a mechanically soft thin layer having a loosely entangled chain network exists in the near-surface region of polymeric materials, whose contribution becomes more pronounced in thinner films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-126
Number of pages5
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 17
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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