Method to measure the viscosity of nanometer liquid films from the surface fluctuations

Zhaohui Yang, Chi Hang Lam, Elaine Dimasi, Nathalie Bouet, Jean Jordan-Sweet, Ophelia K.C. Tsui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


We describe a method to measure the viscosity of polystyrene liquid films with thicknesses ∼5 and ∼80 nm spin-cast on oxide-coated silicon. In this method, temporal evolution of the film surface is monitored and modeled according to the dynamics of the surface capillary waves. Viscosities obtained from the ∼80 nm films display an excellent agreement with those of the bulk polymer, but those from the ∼5 nm films are up to 106 times reduced. By modeling the data to the Vogel-Fulcher-Tammann relation, we find that the observations are consistent with the thickness dependence of the glass transition temperature previously reported of these films.
Original languageEnglish
Article number251906
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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