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Plasma Etching of Patially Crystalline Thermoplastics for Microscopic Examination

Microscopic investigations of polymers are a common way to determine the relationship between structure and properties. For semicrystalline thermoplasts the size distribution of spherulites as well as other supermolecular structures are of special interest. The limitations of the preparation methods commonly used in combination with microscopic methods are the minimum size of supermolecular structures and the difficulty of preparation without artifacts.

This work deals with plasmaetching for structural investigations to increase the number of possibilities of preparation methods. With an etching procedure, the amorphous phase of semicrystalline thermoplasts is degraded and, preferably, removed. Most of the crystalline regions remain, forming a surface relief which can be investigated by microsocopy. Wet chemical methods are usually selective to the polymer and make use of hazardous substances. These disadvantages become secondary when using plasmaetching.

Based on a literature search on wet chemical etching and plasmaetching, the investigations of this work show how to determine the supermolecular structures of semicrystalline thermoplasts (polyolefines, technical thermoplasts) by plasmaetching, followed by a comparison with common preparation methods and wet chemical etching. It shows, how the polymer has to be prepared, which artifacts could occur, and what the surface relief looks like in AFM. Additionally, the work shows the influence of different processing parameters and evaluates the microscopic methods used.

Lesen Sie die deutsche Zusammenfassung auf Kunststoffe.de
Author
 Angela Raue-Breining

Angela Raue-Breining
Lehrstuhl für Kunststofftechnik
Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Information

Free keywords: Microscopy, Etching, Plasma, Morphology, Thermoplastics
Institute / chair: Technische Fakultät der Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Language: German
Technical consultant for expert services: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Gottfried W. Ehrenstein (Betreuer), Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Dr. h.c. Andrzej K. Bledzki
Publication year: 2005
Provider: Wissenschaftlicher Arbeitskreis Kunststofftechnik (WAK) / Kunststoffe.de

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