Challenges in Glassy Dynamics of Polymers



This work is focused on the glassy dynamics of polymers under conditions of one-dimensional confinement (in thin films). Several important topics are addressed: (a) preparative factors with large impact on the molecular dynamics of thin polymer films (oxidative degradation, plasticizing effects, residual stresses leading to metastable states); (b) it is emphasized the necessity to characterize the glass transition by measuring relaxation time distribution functions; (c) it is shown that different experimental techniques do not necessarily deliver converging results when applied to characterise the dynamics of confined polymers; (d) a novel approach is demonstrated which grants a direct experimental access to interfacial polymer dynamics; (e) measurements on nearly isolated polymer chains are presented.

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