Characterization of polymer blends and alloys with atomic force microscopy (AFM)

G. Moeller, D. Garcia, Z. Cherian, L. Fang
Arkema Inc., US

Keywords: polymers, atomic force microscopy, nanoindentation


In this presentation we show how well established AFM techniques, as well as novel, state of the art AFM based characterization techniques are used to drive new developments in polymer blends and alloys with nanometer to micrometer sized inclusions or particles. Specific examples will be given for how these techniques are used to improve film formation in paints, the impact performance of finished products with dispersed particles, and processing conditions. We will show results from a comparative study of NanoIR with principal component confocal Raman analysis. We will demonstrate how state of the art nanomechanical indentation and mapping techniques may be used to measure elastic moduli of individual polymer components in blends and alloys. We will give a brief overview of the challenges for accurate and reproducible mechanical characterization of viscoelastic materials via nanoindentation techniques.