Single-(macro) molecule tracking is used for the first time here to study the crystallization process in ultrathin layers of single poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) chains. Diffusion trajectories of macromolecules diffusing toward the crystal followed by deposition onto the crystal-growth front display different types of motion, such as Brownian and directed motions, prior to crystallization. We show that PEO chains in the amorphous layer and in the less concentrated or depleted zone exhibit Brownian motion of different diffusion rates as a result of heterogeneities in the environment.
- Received 29 July 2008
- Published 29 January 2009
© 2009 The American Physical Society