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Mapping Heterogeneity in NanoTiO2/Polymer Coatings Using Confocal Microscopy and Depth Sensing Indentation



Li Piin Sung


The purpose of this study is to develop relevant metrology to measure the appropriate structure-property relationship at a proper length scale to understand the interplay between nanoparticle and polymeric matrix. In this paper, we present the preliminary results using a combination of laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) and depth sensing indentation (DSI) techniques to probe and map surface/subsurface heterogeneity of the nanoparticle-filled polymeric coatings and to relate to their surface mechanical properties. Nanoparticle-polymer coating systems of different dispersion states were prepared using particle-polymer interactions in different polymer matrices. Two types of TiO2 nanoparticles (with and without surface treatment) were chosen to mix into two different polymeric matrices. The heterogeneity in surface and subsurface was characterized using LSCM. The resultant surface mechanical properties were measured by DSI using different sizes and shapes of indenter tip. The best correlation was found for nanoparticle dispersion (cluster size and distribution) and surface modulus mapping while using a pyramidal shape tip.
Proceedings Title
ACS Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Preprints
Conference Dates
March 21-25, 2010
Conference Location
San Francisco, CA
Conference Title
239th ACS National Meeting & Exposition


depth sensing indentation, laser scanning confocal microscopy, nanoparticle dispersion, surface modulus, TiO2


Sung, L. (2009), Mapping Heterogeneity in NanoTiO2/Polymer Coatings Using Confocal Microscopy and Depth Sensing Indentation, ACS Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Preprints, San Francisco, CA, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created October 14, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017