We have studied the structure of a novel crystalline surface monolayer on top of a disordered melt of the same material [poly(n-alkyl acrylate)s] using grazing incidence x-ray diffraction. The grazing incidence x-ray diffraction, surface tension, and bulk latent heat results show that side chains crystallize except the nine methylene units of the alkyl side chains closest to the polymer backbone. The partial crystallinity along with a thicker surface layer, due to the additional length of the linker group, explains why the difference between the surface order-to-disorder transition temperature and bulk melting temperature increases with a decrease in the length of the alkyl side chain.
Physical Review Letters
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Copyright 2008 American Physical Society. The original published version of this article may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.101.065505.
Prasad, Shishir; Jiang, Zhang; Sinha, Sunil K.; and Dhinojwala, Ali, "Partial Crystallinity in Alkyl Side Chain Polymers Dictates Surface Freezing" (2008). College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. 26.