Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Engineering Design, Manufacturing and Management Systems

First Advisor

Dr. Valery Bliznyuk

Second Advisor

Dr. Pnina Ari-Gur

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul D. Fleming

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This research involves the study of structure and properties of polymer composite thin films. The intrinsic relation between the morphology and thickness of polymer thin films is the main idea behind this research. Polymer films with thickness in the range of 3nm to 600nm (comparable with the characteristic molecular length scale - radius of gyration) are studied for changes in morphology with temperature and thickness using Atomic Force Microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The study of very thin polymer films using Force Modulation technique with AFM and Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy showed that polymers could be characterized with these techniques at the nanoscale level. Crystallization of polymers in thin films is different from that of the bulk, depending on the temperature and thickness of polymer films. The dependence of mobility of polymer chains in thin films with thickness and temperature has been studied for different polymers like polystyrene, poly (butylmethacrylate) and polycaprolactone.