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Dynamical and Mechanical Properties of Glassy Surfaces

James Forrest Polymer Physics Group, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, Canada

In this talk I will present a number of different approaches we have used to study the surface properties of glassy materials. Atomic force microscopy is used to measure the evolution of the surface of glassy materials (both polymeric and non-polymeric) after it is exposed to different perturbations. One such perturbation is the introduction of metallic nanoparticles onto the surface, and we can observe and differentiate both surface and bulk processes. We also describe two surfaces we create with excess surface area which then evolve at temperatures far below the bulk glass transition temperature. Analysis of these surfaces shows qualitative and quantitative measures of surface mobility at temperatures as much as 100K below the bulk glass transition.