Microtech2010 2010

Material property characterization of polymeric surfaces with scanning probe microscopy

D. Yablon
ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, US

Keywords: scanning probe microscopy, AFM


Compositional mapping of soft, polymeric surfaces is especially critical in the petrochemical industry to improve understanding of structure-property relationships. SPM is one of the few techniques with the potential to characterize these samples with the appropriate length scale. Quantitatively determining material properties with scanning probe microscopy has remained a challenge due to various factors including calibration and complicated and ill-defined tip-sample interactions. These interactions must be effectively separated and understood if we are to ultimately be able to identify and quantify specific materials and material properties at the nanoscale. We describe different approaches to this problem utilizing a number of complementary multiple frequency AFM techniques including bimodal dual AC imaging and contact resonance imaging. The multiple frequency AFM techniques are applied to well characterized single component and blended polyolefin samples – yielding quantitative contact resonance and dissipation maps of the tip-sample interactions. Converting these measurements into elastic and viscous moduli maps is discussed. In addition, these surfaces are imaged while being pulled in a custom designed tensile stage for the AFM revealing information about the interface and material deformation as it responds to tensile stress.
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