Compatibility studies of polystyrene and poly(vinyl acetate) blends using electrostatic force microscopy

Authors

  • Mohammed M. Kummali,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Física de Materiales UPV/EHU, Fac. de Química, 20080 San Sebastián, Spain
    2. Centro de Física de Materiales CSIC-UPV/EHU, Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal 5, 20018 San Sebastián, Spain
    • Departamento de Física de Materiales UPV/EHU, Fac. de Química, 20080 San Sebastián, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Gustavo A. Schwartz,

    1. Centro de Física de Materiales CSIC-UPV/EHU, Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal 5, 20018 San Sebastián, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Angel Alegría,

    1. Departamento de Física de Materiales UPV/EHU, Fac. de Química, 20080 San Sebastián, Spain
    2. Centro de Física de Materiales CSIC-UPV/EHU, Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal 5, 20018 San Sebastián, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Richard Arinero,

    1. Institut d' Electronique du Sud (IES), Universitè Montpellier II, 34095 Montpellier Cedex, France
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Juan Colmenero

    1. Departamento de Física de Materiales UPV/EHU, Fac. de Química, 20080 San Sebastián, Spain
    2. Centro de Física de Materiales CSIC-UPV/EHU, Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal 5, 20018 San Sebastián, Spain
    3. Donostia International Physics Center, Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal 4, 20018 San Sebastián, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

The effect of thermal treatment on the phase separation process of the components of a polymer blend was investigated using electrostatic force microscopy (EFM). EFM technique is an advance on conventional atomic force microscopy, which enables us to measure locally the dielectric properties of the samples under investigation providing compositional information. In this work, we studied the phase separation process of the polymer blend thin films made of polystyrene and poly(vinyl acetate) (PS/PVAc) (75/25 weight fraction). The samples were subjected to different thermal treatments. It was found that at low annealing temperature, PVAc forms many small islands within PS matrix. As the annealing temperature increases, the number of PVAc islands decreases with an increase in the size of the islands. These islands take spherical-like shape when annealed at a temperature well above the glass transition temperatures of both the component polymers. Despite these morphological/topographical changes, EFM images evidence that there is no interdiffusion which was further confirmed by quantitatively measuring the value of the dielectric permittivity across the interphase. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 49: 1332–1338, 2011

Ancillary