image description

Polymer Microscopy (1205)


After an introduction to the microscope as used by polymer microscopists, the optical “crystallography” of fibers and films is thoroughly covered.

These measurements are then related to tensile strength and other performance parameters. The use of the microscope for rapid identification of polymers is based on these same “crystallographic” characteristics and the various procedures, e.g. dispersion staining, hot stage, etc., are included.

Another important problem area of polymer microscopists is the identification of contaminant particles. These can often be identified in situ by PLM, however, they can be removed for better characterization and identification. PLM is often supplemented with FTIR/microscopy and SEM/EDS. Other important parts of this course include sample preparation, photomicrography and micrometry.

There is no prerequisite for this course.

Day 1
Microscope optics and illumination
History of polymers
Chemistry of polymers
Structure of polymers

Day 2
Characterization of polymers fibers: Diameter, Shape (longitudinal discontinuities), Refractive Index, Dispersion Staining

Day 3
Interference Microscopy: Identification of fibers by optical properties, Identification of fibers by hotstage microscopy

Day 4
Characterization of polymer films: Thickness, Refractive indices, Birefringence, retardation and optic sign, Conoscopic observations, Identification of films by optical properties, Identification of films by hotstage microscopy

Day 5
Contamination analysis and identification in situ
Contamination removal and identification

Note: This course runs Monday-Friday with class ending at noon on Friday.