Studies of cyclic and linear poly(dimethylsiloxanes): 18. Surface pressures of the monolayers in the plateau region

Steve Granick, S. J. Clarson, T. R. Formoy, J. A. Semlyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Measurements of the two-dimensional surface pressure π have been made as a function of average area per monomer A at areas too small to support a single monolayer, for films of cyclic and linear poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) spread on the surface of water at temperatures between 6°C and 31°C. The number-average numbers of monomer units were 10 to 196 for the rings and 10 to 1.2 × 105 for the linear chains. The surface pressures were stable with time for films formed from molecules with more than 20 monomer units. For these films, two plateaux of surface pressure linked by a rounded step were observed for both rings and chains, and the step occurred at the same average area per monomer. However, although the levels of the plateaux were the same for films formed from all linear species, increases in levels of the plateaux with decreasing number of monomer units were observed for cyclic species. The temperature coefficient of the surface pressure was negative in all instances, suggesting that surface entropy is gained upon compression. The unstable films formed from the linear and cyclic decamers were also studied. The former displayed a step in the plateau region, the latter did not appear to. The present findings suggest that cyclic and linear PDMS with more than 20 monomer units collapse by a common mechanism. If the long-standing hypothesis that PDMS collapses by adopting a helical configuration is correct, this implies that rings with as few as 20 repeat units on the average coil into helices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-929
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1985


  • cyclic poly(dimethylsiloxane)
  • linear poly(dimethylsiloxane)
  • monolayer
  • plateau region
  • surface pressure
  • two-dimensional properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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