Microstructure and water transport in spin cast films of poly(hexylmethacrylate azobenzene-sulfone)

Peter Sutandar, Dong June Ahn, Elias I. Franses

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Spin cast films of poly(hexylmethacrylate azobenzene-sulfone) (PHMA-AS) with a thickness of 7.5 μm were studied at 25 °C by Fourier transform infrared attenuated total reflectance spectroscopy before and after annealing at 140 °C, and before and after contact with water vapor or liquid. Spectral analysis of the hydrocarbon and water bands was used to probe the changes in the film microstructure after these treatments. Slight orientation changes were detected in the hydrocarbon region after hydration. No changes were observed, however, in the dichroic ratios of the carbonyl and the chromophore groups of the PHMA-AS films. These groups had average tilt angles of 62 ° and 69 °, respectively, from the surface normal. The addition of side chains consisting of a spacer and a chromophore group to the backbone of PMMA makes the film a better barrier material for water, as it absorbs less water vapor and less liquid water. The density of the sorbed water at 89% relative humidity was estimated to be 0.006 g per cm3 of polymer. Initially water permeated fast, as non-bulk-like water, through film defects before diffusing more slowly, as bulk-like water, throughout the film. The estimated total density of liquid water absorbed by the film was 0.05 g per cm3 of polymer. The in-situ transport data suggest transport mechanisms more complex than the one-dimensional Fickian diffusion, evidently due to the complex microporous structure of the films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-144
Number of pages11
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Jul 15
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by NSF (#CBT 864904a nd CTS 9004147),a nd by a Purdue Research Foundation fellowship. We thank Professor Hilary S. Lackritz for providing us with PHMA-AS polymer samplesa nd the use of the spin cast apparatus.


  • Coatings
  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
  • Polymers
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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