The European Physical Journal E

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 375–377 | Cite as

Effect of atmosphere on reductions in the glass transition of thin polystyrene films

  • A. N. Raegen
  • M. V. Massa
  • J. A. Forrest
  • K. Dalnoki-Veress
Regular Article


We have used nulling ellipsometry to measure the glass transition temperature, T g , of thin films of polystyrene in ambient, dry nitrogen, and vacuum environments. For all environments, the measured T g values decrease with decreasing film thickness in a way that is quantitatively similar to previously reported studies in ambient conditions. These results provide strong reinforcement of previous conclusions that such reduced T g values are an intrinsic property of the confined material. Furthermore, the results are in contrast to recent reports which suggest that the T g reductions measured by many researchers are the results of artifacts (i.e. degradation of the polymer due to annealing in ambient conditions, or moisture content).


36.20.-r Macromolecules and polymer molecules 64.70.pj Polymers 68.60.-p Physical properties of thin films, nonelectronic 


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. N. Raegen
    • 1
  • M. V. Massa
    • 1
  • J. A. Forrest
    • 2
  • K. Dalnoki-Veress
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics & Astronomy and the Brockhouse Institute for Materials ResearchMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Physics & Astronomy and Guelph-Waterloo Physics InstituteUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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