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Prog Polym Sci. 2010 Nov 1;35(11):1376-1402.

Investigating buried polymer interfaces using sum frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy.

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Department of Chemistry, 930 North University Avenue, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States.


This paper reviews recent progress in the studies of buried polymer interfaces using sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy. Both buried solid/liquid and solid/solid interfaces involving polymeric materials are discussed. SFG studies of polymer/water interfaces show that different polymers exhibit varied surface restructuring behavior in water, indicating the importance of probing polymer/water interfaces in situ. SFG has also been applied to the investigation of interfaces between polymers and other liquids. It has been found that molecular interactions at such polymer/liquid interfaces dictate interfacial polymer structures. The molecular structures of silane molecules, which are widely used as adhesion promoters, have been investigated using SFG at buried polymer/silane and polymer/polymer interfaces, providing molecular-level understanding of polymer adhesion promotion. The molecular structures of polymer/solid interfaces have been examined using SFG with several different experimental geometries. These results have provided molecular-level information about polymer friction, adhesion, interfacial chemical reactions, interfacial electronic properties, and the structure of layer-by-layer deposited polymers. Such research has demonstrated that SFG is a powerful tool to probe buried interfaces involving polymeric materials, which are difficult to study by conventional surface sensitive analytical techniques.

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