Commenced in January 2007
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Segmental Motion of Polymer Chain at Glass Transition Probed by Single Molecule Detection

Authors: Hiroyuki Aoki

Abstract:

The glass transition phenomenon has been extensively studied for a long time. The glass transition of polymer materials is assigned to the transition of the dynamics of the chain backbone segment. However, the detailed mechanism of the transition behavior of the segmental motion is still unclear. In the current work, the single molecule detection technique was employed to reveal the trajectory of the molecular motion of the single polymer chain. The center segment of poly(butyl methacrylate) chain was labeled by a perylenediimide dye molecule and observed by a highly sensitive fluorescence microscope in a defocus condition. The translational and rotational diffusion of the center segment in a single polymer chain was analyzed near the glass transition temperature. The direct observation of the individual polymer chains revealed the intermittent behavior of the segmental motion, indicating the spatial inhomogeneity.

Keywords: Polymer Materials, Glass Transition, Single molecule, molecular motion

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