The local conformation of poly(styrene-co-butadiene) rubber (SBR) chains in direct contact with a quartz substrate was examined by interface-sensitive sum-frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy. SFG signals, which could be obtained from functional groups only oriented at the interface, were clearly observed for SBR in a film at room temperature which was much higher than the bulk glass transition temperature (Tg). When the film was thermally annealed, SBR chains at the quartz interface changed their conformation to one with a lower energy state, accompanied by the randomization of both the main and side chain parts. The characteristic temperature, at which interfacial chains started to lose their orientations, was much higher than the bulk Tg. Also, the extent found to be more remarkable for the spin-coated film than for the solvent-cast one. This implies that the stress accumulated at the interface, which resulted from the centrifugal force during the spin-coating process, accelerates the mobility of chains there. Finally, the kinetics experiment well supports the slower orientation relaxation at the interface.
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