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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Resonant Soft X-Ray Contrast Variation Methods as Composition-Specific Probes of Thin Polymer Film Structure

  • Author(s): Welch, Cynthia F.
  • et al.

We have developed complementary soft x-ray scattering and reflectometry techniques that allow for the morphological analysis of thin polymer films without resorting to chemical modification or isotopic 2 labeling. With these techniques, we achieve significant, x-ray energy-dependent contrast between carbon atoms in different chemical environments using soft x-ray resonance at the carbon edge. Because carbon-containing samples absorb strongly in this region, the scattering length density depends on both the real and imaginary parts of the atomic scattering factors. Using a model polymer film of poly(styrene-b-methyl methacrylate), we show that the soft x-ray reflectivity data is much more sensitive to these atomic scattering factors than the soft x-ray scattering data. Nevertheless, fits to both types of data yield useful morphological details on the polymer?s lamellar structure that are consistent with each other and with literature values.

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