Stritt, Paul

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Glass transition of nanometric polymer films probed by picosecond ultrasonics

2022-02, Brick, Delia, Hofstetter, Marcel, Stritt, Paul, Rinder, Johannes, Gusev, Vitalyi, Dekorsy, Thomas, Hettich, Mike

The possibility to measure the glass transition temperature in poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) films by picosecond ultrasonics with thicknesses ranging from 458 nm to 32 nm is demonstrated. A shift of the longitudinal acoustic eigenmodes towards lower frequencies with temperature is observed accompanied by a change in the temperature-frequency slopes at the glass transition temperature. The contributions to the frequency shift from changes in film thickness and sound velocity are discussed and the latter is extracted below the glass transition temperature. Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of the current approach in a comparison to other methods based on acoustic measurements in the GHz regime are reviewed.