Thickness Induced Structural Changes in Polystyrene Films
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Changes to the structure of polystyrene melt films as measured through the spectrum of density fluctuations have been observed as a function of film thickness down to the polymer radius of gyration (Rg). Films thicker than 4Rg show bulklike density fluctuations. Thinner films exhibit a peak in S(q) near q = 0, which grows with decreasing thickness. This peak is attributed to a decreased interpenetration of chains resulting in an enhanced compressibility. Measurements were made using small angle x-ray scattering in a standing wave geometry designed to enhance scattering from the interior of the film compared to interface scattering.