Structural Studies on Crystalline Polymers

  • D. M. Sadler
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (ASIC, volume 94)


What are the shapes of molecules inside lamellar crystals, and how do the crystals grow that way ? These questions have received renewed interest since the advent of small angle neutron scattering. The aim here is to set the scene in terms of ideas on crystal growth, and to review the results of a range of techniques with an accent on the contribution of neutron scattering work. Some of the conclusions are as follows. Molecules in solution grown crystals fold preferentially along the growth facets. Some at least of the surface “amorphous” layer is in fact due to fluctuations in the position of the folds with respect to the lamellar surface. The folding is largely adjacently re-entrant, but for fast crystal growth competitive nucleation leads to some longer folds and also to superfolding. The conformation in fast grown crystals from the melt is very different. The molecule as it is incorporated in the crystal contracts locally to form short sequences of adjacent or “nearby” folds, even though on a large scale the molecule retains the distribution in space it had in the melt. Melt grown crystals which grow slowly have yet a different pattern of folding.


Neutron Scattering Growth Face Crystalline Polymer Amorphous Layer Grown Crystal 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. M. Sadler
    • 1
  1. 1.Physics DepartmentUniversity of BristolUSA

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