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Characterization of Polyester Degradation Using Tapping Mode Atomic Force Microscopy



Xiaohong Gu, D T. Raghavan, Tinh Nguyen, Mark R. VanLandingham


Tapping mode AFM was used to examine the microstructure of polyester films before and after exposure to an alkaline solution. Bright-colored microgel domains and dark-colored interstitial regions were observed in phase images of the unexposed samples. The microstructure of polyester film was substantially changed after exposure. More and deeper pits were observed on the sample surfaces with increasing exposure time. Phase imaging and force curves indicated that the properties of the regions in the degradation pits are significantly different from those of undegraded regions. The localized nature of pit initiation and propagation is believed to result from the heterogeneity of the polyester film.
Proceedings Title
220 American Chemical Society National Meeting
Conference Dates
August 20-24, 2000
Conference Title
American Chemical Society


AFM, building technology, coating, degradation, heterogeneity, nanoindentation, phase imaging, polymer


Gu, X. , Raghavan, D. , Nguyen, T. and VanLandingham, M. (2000), Characterization of Polyester Degradation Using Tapping Mode Atomic Force Microscopy, 220 American Chemical Society National Meeting, [online], (Accessed May 29, 2024)


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Created August 1, 2000, Updated February 19, 2017