A thin film of poly(4-methylpentene-1) (P4MP1) was prepared on a quartz substrate, which was a model system of an interface in filler-reinforced semicrystalline polymer composites. Grazing-incidence wide-angle X-ray diffraction measurements revealed that P4MP1 in the thin film after isothermal crystallization formed a Form I crystal polymorph composed of a tetragonal unit cell with a 72 helix, in which the chain axis was oriented along the direction parallel to the quartz interface. Combining sum-frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy with molecular dynamics simulation enabled us to gain access to the local conformation of P4MP1 chains at the quartz interface and the changes that occurred with isothermal crystallization. Finally, the way in which the initial chain orientation at the substrate interface impacted the crystalline structure in the thin film was discussed.
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