Angle resolved XPS (ARXPS) and scanning force microscopy (SFM) are used to study polystyrene/poly(vinyl ethyl ether) 50/50 wt% blend thin films spin cast from toluene solution, as a function of polystyrene molecular weight and film thickness. ARXPS is used to investigate the composition depth profile (CDP) of the blend thin films and SFM to study their surface morphology and miscibility. The CDPs are modelled by an empirical hyperbolic tangent function with three floating parameters. These are determined by non-linear least squares regression, their uncertainties estimated and the curve fit residuals analysed to demonstrate that the hyperbolic tangent CDP is a satisfactory fit to the ARXPS data. Conclusions are drawn regarding the behaviour of the blend thin films as the thickness and polystyrene molecular weight are varied. Flory-Huggins interaction parameters (chi) for the mixtures are calculated based upon the segregation data, and suggest a value of chi = 0.05 to be appropriate for this system. (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved
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