Viscoelastic Properties and Collapse Behavior of a Smectic Liquid-Crystalline Polymer at the Air/Water Interface

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The viscoelastic behavior of a monolayer of a liquid-crystalline side-chain polymer in its collapse region is discussed. The material shows a reversible collapse with a strong temperature and compression speed dependence. The collapse process can be empirically described as a viscoelastic relaxation with two relaxation times. Because of this behavior, the importance of the “time of observation” is pointed out. A second increase of the surface pressure at lower mean molecular area and stepwise increases of the collapse viscosity are associated with the formation of bi- and trilayers. Reflectivity measurements with a Brewster angle microscope are used to confirm that the collapse is a homogeneous process, leading to multilayers with liquid crystalline properties at the air/water interface. © 1993, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

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