Nanoscale chemical and mechanical characterization of thin films:sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy at buriedinterfaces
Description: Sum frequency generation (SFG) surface vibrational spectroscopy was used to characterize interfaces pertinent to current surface engineering applications, such as thin film polymers and novel catalysts. An array of advanced surface science techniques like scanning probe microscopy (SPM), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), gas chromatography (GC) and electron microscopy were used to obtain experimental measurements complementary to SFG data elucidating polymer and catalyst surface composition, surface structure, and surface mechanical behavior. Experiments reported in this dissertation concentrate on three fundamental questions: (1) How does the interfacial molecular structure differ from that of the bulk in real world applications? (2) How do differences in chemical environment affect interface composition or conformation? (3) How do these changes correlate to properties such as mechanical or catalytic performance? The density, surface energy and bonding at a solid interface dramatically alter the polymer configuration, physics and mechanical properties such as surface glass transition, adhesion and hardness. The enhanced sensitivity of SFG at the buried interface is applied to three systems: a series of acrylates under compression, the compositions and segregation behavior of binary polymer polyolefin blends, and the changes in surface structure of a hydrogel as a function of hydration. In addition, a catalytically active thin film of polymer coated nanoparticles is investigated to evaluate the efficacy of SFG to provide in situ information for catalytic reactions involving small mass adsorption and/or product development. Through the use of SFG, in situ total internal reflection (TIR) was used to increase the sensitivity of SFG and provide the necessary specificity to investigate interfaces of thin polymer films and nanostructures previously considered unfeasible. The dynamic nature of thin film surfaces is examined and it is found that the non-equilibrium states contribute to practical applications of acrylates, blends and hydrogels. Lastly, nanoparticle surfaces and the catalytic activity and selectivity of ...
Date: May 19, 2006
Creator: Kweskin, S.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department