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Polymer Microscopy (1205)


Course schedule: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Friday

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 FT-IR/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
• Micrometry
• 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 and identification of fibers by hot stage 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 hot stage microscopy

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