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Infrared reflectance spectroscopy as a characterization probe for polymer surfaces and interfaces

Sophie Annick Riou, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Only recently has external reflectance infrared spectroscopy been used to acquire structural information at the molecular level at air-liquid interfaces, and particularly to characterize in situ molecular chains adsorbed at the air-water interface. This technique has been applied for the determination of chain orientation, chain conformation and packing density of small molecules such as phospholipids, fatty acids and fatty alcohols on the surface of water, and more recently of macromolecular systems. Vibrational spectroscopy, a nondestructive technique, is especially successful in the determination of the conformational order or disorder of alkyl chains (e.g. trans/gauche ratio) as well as in the evaluation of coil, helical or extended conformations in poly(amino acids). In this thesis work, the construction of a microcomputer controlled Langmuir trough optically coupled to a FT-IR instrument has allowed the direct investigation of molecular films spread at air-liquid interfaces. Order-disorder transitions and relaxation behaviors in vinyl comb-like polymeric Langmuir films have been examined using simultaneously external reflection infrared spectroscopy and surface tensiometry. The structures of several poly(amino acid) films have also been studied as a function of surface packing density at the air-water interface.

Subject Area

Plastics|Materials science

Recommended Citation

Riou, Sophie Annick, "Infrared reflectance spectroscopy as a characterization probe for polymer surfaces and interfaces" (1998). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9909210.