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Keywords:

  • diffusion;
  • fluorescence;
  • imaging;
  • interfaces;
  • melt;
  • optics

Abstract

The surface forces apparatus has been combined with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching to measure translational diffusion of polymer confined between mica sheets. This article presents findings using polydimethylsiloxane with number-average molecular weight Mn = 2200 g mol−1, the chains end-labeled with soluble fluorescent dye. Melts with thickness 10 nm display a translational diffusion coefficient (D) with a bulk component and a slower component assigned to surface diffusion. Reduction of thickness to 1.8 nm causes mobility to split into two populations—an immobile fraction (immobile on the time scale of 30–60 min) and a mobile fraction who's D slow only weakly with diminishing film thickness. However, when load causes the confining mica sheets to flatten, D of the mobile fraction drops by up to an additional order of magnitude, depending on the local pressure that squeezes on the polymer. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys, 2010