Langmuir, Vol.36, No.50, 15430-15441, 2020
Processing Induced Nonequilibrium Behavior of Polyvinylpyrrolidone Nanofilms Revealed by Dewetting
Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) nanofilms prepared by spin-coating have vast applications in biological and microdevice fields. However, detailed knowledge of processing induced nonequilibrium behavior of PVP nanofilms and solutions for minimizing residual stresses toward high-quality films has still been lacking. In the present study, we first explored the rapid film formation process via statistics on nascent holes. Next, by employing dewetting as a major probe, we revealed that many processing conditions, particularly previously overlooked variables like the atmosphere, substrates, and immersion time, were correlated substantially with the degree of nonequilibrium of nanofilms. Proper aging temperature and time were demonstrated essential for releasing residual stresses and achieving more equilibrium nanofilms. This work offered abundant experimental evidence in the building relationship between the processing and nonequilibrium nature of polymer nanofilms, which were crucial for their preparation and application.