Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 2815–2822 | Cite as

Mutual diffusion studies of polystyrene and poly(xylenyl ether) using Rutherford backscattering spectrometry

  • R. J. Composto
  • E. J. Kramer


The concentration versus depth profile in diffusion couples initially consisting of layers of pure polystyrene (PS) and poly(xylenyl ether) (PXE) were measured. To reveal the profile, the PXE molecules (after diffusion) were preferentially stained in the glass by exposing the couple to a solution of 2 mol % Br in methanol; the covalently bound Br nuclei serve as heavy nuclear tags which permit a sensitive determination of the PXE depth profile by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS). The samples were annealed at temperatures, T, ranging from 177–210 °C that are above the glass transition temperature, Tg, of the pure PS (105 °C) but below the Tg of pure PXE (216 °C). The measured concentration versus depth profile is markedly asymmetric, with a low slope at low values of the volume fraction of PXE, φPXE, but with a much greater slope at high values of φPXE. These results are in qualitative agreement with the variation in the mutual diffusion coefficient, D, expected as φPXE increases, causing the Tg of the blend to increase towards, and finally exceed, the diffusion temperature. Values of D extracted from these concentration versus depth profiles at low values of φPXE using the Boltzmann-Matano analysis are in good agreement with those measured by forward recoil spectrometry (FRES) in deuterated-PS: PXE couples with only small composition differences.


Glass Transition Temperature Depth Profile Diffusion Couple Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry Diffusion Study 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Composto
    • 1
  • E. J. Kramer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Materials Science Center, Bard HallCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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