Stability of Thin Film Glasses of Toluene and Ethylbenzene Formed by Vapor Deposition: An in Situ Nanocalorimetric Study

Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2010 Nov 28;12(44):14693-8. doi: 10.1039/c0cp00208a. Epub 2010 Oct 13.


Vapor deposited thin films (~100 nm thickness) of toluene and ethylbenzene grown by physical vapor deposition show enhanced stability with respect to samples slowly cooled from the liquid at a rate of 5 K min(-1). The heat capacity is measured in situ immediately after growth from the vapor or after re-freezing from the supercooled liquid at various heating rates using quasi-adiabatic nanocalorimetry. Glasses obtained from the vapor have low enthalpies and large heat capacity overshoots that are shifted to high temperatures. The stability is maximized at growth temperatures in the vicinity of 0.8 T(g) for both molecules, although glasses of ethylbenzene show superior stabilization. Our data is consistent with previous results of larger organic molecules suggesting a generalized behavior on the stability of organic glasses grown from the vapor. In addition, we find that for the small molecules analyzed here, slowing the growth rate below 0.1 nm s(-1) does not result in increased thermodynamic stability.