The utility of resonant soft x-ray scattering and reflectivity for the nanoscale characterization of polymers
- ISSN: 19516355
- DOI: 10.1140/epjst/e2009-00946-3
The utility of resonant soft x-ray scattering (RSoXS) and reflectivity (RSoXR) is extended and exemplified through the characterization of thin films of polymers relevant to organic solar cells and of dilute polymer solutions. RSoXS and RSoXR are methods that utilize anomalous scattering principles at soft x-ray energies. Soft X-rays cover the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen absorption edges, elements very relevant for polymers and colloids. The rapid changes of optical properties near these absorption edges provide selectivity to specific moieties and high contrast. RSoXR is shown to be a powerful tool for the characterization of bilayers of conducting polymers. The RSoXR results point to an interesting strategy that will allow the chemical interdiffusion and physical roughness at a buried polymer/polymer interface to be determined independently. The high scattering cross sections also allows the investigation of thin films of conjugated polymer blends in transmission at thicknesses for which hard X-rays or neutrons would yield relatively little scattering. By scattering at photon energies that provide strong scattering contrast, even very dilute polymeric solutions yield a useable signal.