Atomic force microscopy evidence of patterning urethane/urea copolymers

M. H. Godinho, Luís Viseu Melo, Pedro Brogueira

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The elastomeric film (60-μm thickness) was prepared from polypropylene oxide-based isocyanate-terminated triol prepolymer (PU) and polybutadiene diol (PBDO; 40% by weight). The sample was cut from the cross-linked film in the direction (d2) perpendicular to the casting rate (d1). The sample was subject to a uniaxial deformation along d2 equal to 1.3, at room temperature, under ultraviolet radiation (λ = 254 nm) for 4 days. After removing the mechanical field, a periodic pattern was obtained in the modulated polymer surface with a wave vector parallel to d2. A bi-stable behaviour of the elastomer is revealed by sequentially applying and removing mechanical shear stress along d1 (state I) and along d2 (state II). State I is characterized by two spatial periods along d1 and d2, respectively. The AFM height profile along d1 shows variability of the wave vector value with spatial periodicities ℓI1 ranging from 4 to 5 μm and alternating peak-to-valley heights of hI11 = 65 ± 12 nm and hI12 = 140 ± 50 nm. In contrast, the AFM height profile along d2 reveals a complex periodic structure characterized by a well-established spatial periodicity ℓI2 = 8.47 ± 0.12 μm. The peak-to-valley height varies between 30 and 170 nm within one spatial period in a reproducible sequence. State II is characterized by a clear spatial periodicity along d2. Within this periodicity peaks are grouped in pairs. Each pair is characterized by a spatial periodicity of ℓII2 = 4.5 ± 01 μm. The height difference between subsequent pairs is ΔhII22 = 42 ± 10 nm with a constant peak-to-valley height hII22 = 290 ± 30 nm. The profile along d1 reveals the imprint of state I.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-922
Number of pages4
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Issue number6-8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2003
EventSymposium on Current Trends in Nanoscience: From Materials to Application - Strasbourg, France
Duration: 10 Jun 200313 Jun 2003


  • AFM
  • Bi-stable pattern
  • Elastomer
  • Urethane/urea
  • UV


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