The rigid chain microstructure of thermotropic liquid crystal polymers (TLCPs) permits an ordered morphology to form consequently giving these materials exceptionally high strength. X-ray and neutron scattering techniques effectively determine the semi-crystalline structure of TLCP but lack the spatial resolution needed to detect morphological changes occurring on sub-micron length scales. This research develops an electron optical technique to resolve the local orientation of LCP fibers at resolutions on the order of 100-300 nm. This paper outlines the essential elements of this technique and presents preliminary results showing systematic morphological changes of LCP fiber as a function of position across the fiber diameter.
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Taylor, J., Libera, M. & Greeley, M. Determination of Local Fiber Texture in Liquid Crystal Polymer by Electron Diffraction. MRS Online Proceedings Library 559, 171–176 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-559-171