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Quantitative Viscoelastic Mapping of Polyolefin Blends with Contact Resonance Atomic Force Microscopy



Dalia Yablon, Anil Gannepalli, Roger Proksch, Jason Killgore, Donna C. Hurley, Andy Tsou


The storage modulus (E') and loss modulus (E") of polyolefin blends have been mapped on the nanoscale with contact resonance force microscopy (CR-FM), a dynamic contact mode of atomic force microscopy (AFM). CR-FM maps for a blend of polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene were compared to results at the corresponding frequency calculated from bulk dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) values. Absolute values for E' obtained by CR-FM were in good agreement with those from DMA, but the CR-FM results for E" were consistently lower than DMA values. However, semiquantitative?trends in E" from the CR-FM maps compared favorably with DMA results. Application of CR-FM to an elastomer-containing blend resulted in moduli maps that were inconsistent with bulk values. The discrepancy was attributed to the large tip-sample adhesion force of the elastomer, which is not measured or considered in the current CR-FM implementation. In spite of this limitation, our results demonstrate the potential of contact resonance methods for quantifying nanoscale viscoelastic properties of stiff polymers.


Yablon, D. , Gannepalli, A. , Proksch, R. , Killgore, J. , Hurley, D. and Tsou, A. (2012), Quantitative Viscoelastic Mapping of Polyolefin Blends with Contact Resonance Atomic Force Microscopy, Macromolecules, [online], (Accessed April 25, 2024)
Created May 8, 2012, Updated October 12, 2021