Thickness-Dependent Swelling Behavior of Vapor-Deposited Smart Polymer Thin Films

Fabian Muralter, Alberto Perrotta, Anna Maria Coclite*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this contribution, the temperature-dependent swelling behavior of vapor-deposited smart polymer thin films is shown to depend on cross-linking and deposited film thickness. Smart polymers find application in sensor and actuator setups and are mostly fabricated on delicate substrates with complex nanostructures that need to be conformally coated. As initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) meets these specific requirements, the present work concentrates on temperature-dependent swelling behavior of iCVD poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) thin films. The transition between swollen and shrunken state and the corresponding lower critical solution temperature (LCST) was investigated by spectroscopic ellipsometry in water. The films' density in the dry state evaluated from X-ray reflectivity could be successfully correlated to the position of the LCST in water and was found to vary between 1.1 and 1.3 g/cm3 in the thickness range 30-330 nm. This work emphasizes the importance of insights in both the deposition process and mechanisms during swelling of smart polymeric structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9692-9699
Number of pages8
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


  • NAWI Graz


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