Problems Associated with the Electron Microscopy of Polymers

Part of the Springer Laboratory book series (SPLABORATORY)


This introductory chapter to Part II –which dealswith preparation techniques – summarises the main problems associated with the investigation of polymers by electron microscopy. The irradiation sensitivity of polymers can be reduced by taking precautions with the instrumentation and the manner of operation. It should also be noted that the irradiation sensitivity of polymers can be utilised for special contrast development effects. The problem of the low contrast between structural details of polymers can be overcome through the use of chemical staining, physical effects or surface etching. The third problem is the preparation of ultrathin specimens from bulk polymers, which is successfully solved by applying (cryo)ultramicrotomy. Some additional methods are mentioned, and the applicabilities of various methods for studying themorphologies of several classes of polymers are summarized.All of these methods are described in detail in subsequent chapters in Part II.


Structural Detail Preparation Technique Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope Bulk Polymer Irradiation Sensitivity 
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