Epitaxially crystallized polyethylene exhibiting near-equilibrium melting temperatures*

Yucheng Wang, Jason X. Liu, Kaichen Gu, Anishkumar Soman, Tingyi Gu, Craig B. Arnold, Richard A. Register, Yueh Lin Loo, Rodney D. Priestley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The morphology and orientation of polymer crystals are important factors which determine the performance of thin-film, polymer-based technologies such as organic electronic devices and gas separation membranes. Here, we utilize polymer-substrate epitaxy to achieve a highly oriented crystalline morphology during thin-film processing. To accomplish this, we employ matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE), a slow physical vapor deposition process, to deposit linear polyethylene epitaxially atop a graphene substrate. Via MAPLE, we demonstrate the ability to achieve a film morphology comprised of well-aligned, edge-on crystalline lamellae. Furthermore, we show that MAPLE can be exploited to grow crystalline lamellae composed entirely of extended polymer chains which exhibit a near-equilibrium melting temperature. Our study demonstrates that MAPLE, as a bottom-up approach, can deposit polymer thin films with improved control over crystalline morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-847
Number of pages7
JournalPolymer Engineering and Science
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

Keywords

  • epitaxial polymer crystallization
  • graphene
  • grazing-incidence x-ray diffraction
  • matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation
  • melting

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