In Situ Microscopy
Each type of electron microscope is suitable not only for studying the morphologies of polymers but also for visualising changes in these materials under different and varying conditions. Such experimental tests are commonly known as in situ techniques. Beside the effects of electron irradiation and different ambient atmospheres, micromechanical in situ tests are discussed here in some detail. Some examples are presented after describing the technical equipment used for in situ investigations, including miniaturised deformation devices for common electron microscopes, which enable tensile tests of ultra- and semi-thin specimens to be performed at low or high temperatures. SEM and (particularly) ESEM are very effective ways to study deformation, crack propagation and fracture processes.The TEM and HVTEM techniques permit higher resolution to be achieved and can be used to characterise effects at the micro- as well as the nanoscale. AFM can be applied tomonitor micromechanical deformation processes without the limiting factors associated with EM, such as vacuum and electron irradiation damage.
KeywordsAtomic Force Microscope Deformation Structure Electron Irradiation Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope Constant Strain Rate
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