Exploiting the Interplay Between Bi-Modal Molecular Weight Distribution in Polystyrene and Humidity to Induce Self-Assembly of Biomimetic Micropillars/honeycomb Morphology in Thin Polymer Film
Segregation of polymer chains of different molecular weights is a well-known process. A traditional experimental approach of studying phase segregation of thin films composed of polymer blends with identical chemical compositions but different molecular weights, was focused on functionalization of chemical group or modification of end-group. In this study however, a different approach was proposed, in which polystyrene with a bimodal molecular weight distribution but no additional chemical modification was implemented in order to examine and analyze its phase segregation. It was found that by choosing right molecular weight distribution it is possible to obtain controlled phase separation at short time interval and at microscale. By doing this, we have presented an easy, fast, effective and fully controlled method of obtaining biomimetic micropillar/honeycomb morphologies. In addition, the evaporation rate during spin-coating and the viscosity of a solution with a bimodal molecular weight distribution was studied.