Ophelia Tsui and collaborators published in Science Magazine

June 25, 2010

Prof. Ophelia Tsui, postdocs Zhaohui Yang and Yoshihisa Fujii, former postdoc Fuk Kay Lee, and a collaborator from Hong Kong Polytechnic University uncovered a mechanism by which the glass transition temperature of polymer films can be decreased with decreasing film thickness – a question that has been under debate since 1994. Their result shows that the phenomenon is attributable to a mobile layer at the free surface of the films that provides an additional flow channel to the films that can sustain material flow even below the bulk glass transition temperature. As a result, the glass transition is postponed. This work has been published in Science in June 2010. The paper can be accessed via sciencemag.org.