Monitoring Fast, Voxel-Scale Cure Kinetics via Sample-Coupled-Resonance Photorheology

Published: February 13, 2019


Callie I. Higgins, Lewis M. Cox, Frank W. DelRio, Jason P. Killgore


Photopolymerizable materials are the focus of extensive research across a variety of fields ranging from additive manufacturing to regenerative medicine. However, poorly understood material mechanical and rheological properties during polymerization at the relevant exposure powers and single-voxel length-scales limit advancements in part performance and throughput. Here, a novel atomic force microscopy (AFM) technique, sample-coupled-resonance photorheology (SCRPR), to locally characterize the mechano-rheological properties of photopolymerized materials on the relevant reaction kinetic timescales, is demonstrated. By coupling an AFM tip to a photopolymer and exposing the coupled region to a laser, two fundamental photopolymerization phenomena: (1) timescales of photopolymerization at high laser power and (2) reciprocity between photodose and material properties are studied. The ability to capture rapid kinetic changes occurring during polymerization with SCRPR is demonstrated. It is found that reciprocity is only valid for a finite range of exposure powers in the verification material and polymerization is highly localized in a low-diffusion system. After polymerization, in situ imaging of a single polymerized voxel is performed using material-appropriate topographic and nanomechanical modalities of the AFM while still in the as-printed environment.
Citation: Small
Volume: 3
Issue: 2
Pub Type: Journals


In-situ Rheology, AFM, Additive Manufacturing, Photopolymerization, Contact Resonance
Created February 13, 2019, Updated February 13, 2019