Many industrial applications require a control of the morphology of thin polymer films. The morphology of thin polymer films depends on many factors : method of formation, tendency of film components to mix or dewet, the crystallization of film components, the presence of filler particles, etc. In the present note, we explore the use of AFM as a tool for probing the changes in film morphology that accompany phase ordering processes (phase separation, crystallization). In a first part we use the Phase Imaging in order to image and distinguish the amorphous region from the crystalline lamellae in a semicrystalline polymer (polyamide 6). In the second part, we consider the added feature of phase separation superposed on crystallization. The crystallization process is a symmetry breaking perturbation that can be used to manipulate film structure. We also investigate how the presence of clay filler particles in polymer films modifies the local stiffness of polymer films.
Proceedings Title: American Chemical Society; Division of Polymer Chemistry, Meeting | | | American Chemical Society (ACS)
Issue: No. 2
Conference Dates: August 1, 2000
Conference Title: Polymer Preprints
Pub Type: Conferences
AFM, clay-fillers, crystallization, dendrite, phase imaging, phase separation