Polymer films

In attempting to reduce the size of functional devices, the thickness of polymer films has reached values even smaller than the diameter of the unperturbed molecule. However, despite enormous efforts for more than a decade, our understanding of the origin of some puzzling properties of such thin films is still not satisfactory and several peculiar observations remain mysterious.

We have shown that many of these extraordinary effects (for example the often undesirable rupture of films that are expected energetically to be stable and their subsequent unconventional dewetting dynamics) can be related to residual stresses within the film, resulting from the preparation of these films from solution by fast evaporation of the solvent.