The surface properties of amorphous and crystalline polyester films, well below their glass transition temperature, have been studied with an atomic force microscope. For amorphous films a corrugated pattern develops on the surface as a result of scanning and the corrugations are always perpendicular to the scan direction. When scanning is stopped the pattern shows a slight relaxation; however, the surface is plastically deformed. When crystalline films are scanned, similar patterns are seen which are less pronounced and require a much longer scan time. These results suggest that the physical properties of a glassy polyester surface may be different from the bulk, and the freedom of macromolecules is reduced upon crystallization, thus suppressing molecular motion at the surface.
Polymer Crystallization Transition Temperature Atomic Force Microscope Glass Transition
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