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3D-morphology reconstruction of nanoscale phase-separation in polymer memory blends

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Author: Khikhlovskyi, V. · Breemen, A.J.J.M. van · Michels, J.J. · Janssen, R.A.J. · Gelinck, G.H. · Kemerink, M.
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
Source:Journal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics, 17, 53, 1231-1237
Identifier: 527755
doi: doi:10.1002/polb.23769
Keywords: Electronics · AFM · Copolymers · Ferroelectricity · Morphology · Organic polymers · Polymer blends · Separation · Thin films · Device performance · Ferroelectric polymers · Nano-scale phase separation · Organic electronic devices · Organic memory · Resistive switches · Selective dissolution · Phase separation · Industrial Innovation · Nano Technology · HOL - Holst · TS - Technical Sciences


In many organic electronic devices functionality is achieved by blending two or more materials, typically polymers or molecules, with distinctly different optical or electrical properties in a single film. The local scale morphology of such blends is vital for the device performance. Here, a simple approach to study the full 3D morphology of phase-separated blends, taking advantage of the possibility to selectively dissolve the different components is introduced. This method is applied in combination with AFM to investigate a blend of a semiconducting and ferroelectric polymer typically used as active layer in organic ferroelectric resistive switches. It is found that the blend consists of a ferroelectric matrix with three types of embedded semiconductor domains and a thin wetting layer at the bottom electrode. Statistical analysis of the obtained images excludes the presence of a fourth type of domains. The criteria for the applicability of the presented technique are discussed. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2015, 53, 1231-1237.