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Analysis of Order Formation in Block Copolymer Thin Films UsingResonant Soft X-Ray Scattering

Description: The lateral order of poly(styrene-block-isoprene) copolymer(PS-b-PI) thin films is characterized by the emerging technique ofresonant soft X-ray scattering (RSOXS) at the carbon K edge and comparedto ordering in bulk samples of the same materials measured usingconventional small-angle X-ray scattering. We show resonance using theoryand experiment that the loss of scattering intensity expected with adecrease in sample volume in the case of thin films can be overcome bytuning X-rays to the pi* resonance of PS or PI. Using RSOXS, we study themicrophase ordering of cylinder- and phere-forming PS-b-PI thin films andcompare these results to position space data obtained by atomic forcemicroscopy. Our ability to examine large sample areas (~;9000 mu m2) byRSOXS enables unambiguous identification of the lateral lattice structurein the thin films. In the case of the sphere-forming copolymer thin film,where the spheres are hexagonally arranged, the average sphere-to-spherespacing is between the bulk (body-centered cubic) nearest neighbor andbulk unit cell spacings. In the case of the cylinder-forming copolymerthin film, the cylinder-to-cylinder spacing is within experimental errorof that obtained in the bulk.
Date: November 27, 2006
Creator: Virgili, Justin M.; Tao, Yuefei; Kortright, Jeffrey B.; Balsara,Nitash P. & Segalman, Rachel A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sub-second Morphological Changes in Nafion during Water Uptake Detected by Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering

Description: The ability of Nafion® membrane to absorb water rapidly and create a network of hydrated interconnected water domains provides this material with an unmatched ability to conduct ions through a chemically and mechanically robust membrane. The morphology and composition of these hydrated membranes significantly affects their transport properties and performance. This work demonstrates that differences in interfacial interactions between the membranes exposed to vapor or liquid water can cause significant changes in kinetics of water uptake. In-situ small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments captured the rapid swelling of the membrane in liquid water with nanostructure rearrangement on the order of seconds. For membranes in contact with water vapor, morphological changes are four-orders-of-magnitude slower than in liquid water, suggesting that interfacial resistance limits the penetration of water into the membrane. Also, upon water absorption from liquid water, a structural rearrangement from a distribution of spherical and cylindrical domains to exclusively cylindrical-like domains is suggested. These differences in water-uptake kinetics and morphology provide a new perspective into Schroeder’s Paradox, which dictates different water contents for vaporand liquid-equilibrated ionomers at unit activity. The findings of this work provide critical insights into the fast kinetics of water absorption of Nafion membrane, which can aid in the design of energy conversion devices that operate under frequent changes in environmental conditions.
Date: September 30, 2011
Creator: Kusoglu, Ahmet; Modestino, Miguel A.; Hexemer, Alexander; Segalman, Rachel A. & Weber, Adam Z.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department