A study of supported poly (N-butyl methacrylate)(Pbma) thin polymer films near the glass transition temperature
The glass transition temperature and the surface dynamics of poly (butyl methacrylate) (PBMA) films have been studied using a phase-modulated ellipsometer equipped with a home-built sample cell with temperature controller. Experiments were performed for a range of temperatures, both above and below the glass transition temperature (Tg). In our study the glass transition temperature was obtained by plotting the ellipticity, as a function of temperature using the data from the ellipsometric cooling scan. the correlation functions governing the fluctuations were calculated at each temperature from the time-dependent fluctuations in film thickness as a function of temperature using ellipsometry data collected at 50 Hz frequency. The results indicate that at temperatures well above Tg, the correlation functions obey a simple exponential decay. However, as Tg is approached, the correlation functions are best fitted with a stretched exponential relation, indicating a broad distribution of relaxation times. In addition, the temperature dependence of surface relaxation process has been found to be much weaker compared to the bulk relaxation.