Evaluation of Microstructure of BaTiO3-Polymer Composites by Confocal Microscopy
C. K. Chiang, Li Piin Sung, R Popielarz, Jan Obrzut
Laser scanning confocal microscopy has been applied to examine the distribution of BaTiO3 particles in ceramic-polymer composite films. The thin-slice images of the thickness of the order of one micron allowed us to visualize the micron-size particles and the polymer between them nondestructively. We have found that, although BaTiO3 particles appear to be uniformly dispersed in the composite films when observed under conventional microscope, the particles form clusters at low BaTiO3 concentrations. The lower the concentration the larger the cluster size. The particles appear to be better dispersed in the high concentration composites than at low concentrations. The onset of the cluster size is at about 25 volume percent. Above this concentration the sample appears to be uniform.