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Mesoscopic Patterning in Thin Polymer Films Formed under the Fast Dip-Coating Process



Summary: Mesoscopically ordered self-assembled polystyrene, polycarbonate and poly(methyl methacrylate) films were obtained when polymer solutions were deposited on vertical plates and dried with hot air. It was shown that characteristic size (≈50 μm) of the mesoscopic cell is practically insensitive to the polymer or substrate kind, while the thickness of the substrate plays a decisive role in the mesoscopic patterning. Junction angles of 120 and 90° were observed. Marangoni instability plays an important role in the cell's structure formation. A semi-quantitative model explaining the phenomenon of mesoscopic cell formation is proposed.

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Scheme of the dip-coating process.