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The Formation and Evolution of Creased Morphologies Using Reactive Diffusion in Ultrathin Polymer Brush Platforms

ABSTRACT

Precisely controlling the morphology in thin film coatings has emerged as an important tool used to tune surface properties in a wide variety of applications. Previously, a method is reported to fabricate nanoscale surface creases with a high degree of control over crease size and shape using microcontact printing to perform post-polymerization modification on reactive polymer brush surfaces. In this work, this approach has been expanded to manipulate crease morphology in reactive thin films, using only a drop of a reactive, viscous polymer, and crease formation has been investigated with a combination of experimental observations and computational validations. The effects of various rate constants of the reactive polymer brush scaffold, hydrostatic pressure within the droplet of reactive polymer, diffusion profile, and the evolution of the creased morphologies with reaction time are examined in order to better understand crease formation in ultrathin films.