Microscopy of Polymer Surfaces

  • D. Hemsley


The surface topography of a polymer can be examined by a variety of microscopical methods. The choice of method depends upon the physical and chemical nature of the surface to be studied, the resolution range likely to be needed and whether qualitative or quantitative results are required.

As is true for any branch of microscopy, good results depend heavily upon correctly selected and properly carried out preparative procedures. Some modern as well as established methods are discussed, emphasis being placed on the image contrast that a particular combination of optical system and specimen treatment will produce. Recent trends include the trend towards sputter coating in preference to evaporation methods for surface coating, the adoption and adaptation of interferometric techniques for routine surface examination and the use of chemical and ion etching methods to enhance surface detail.

A number of applications of polymer surface microscopy are described which illustrate the current usage of this technique in the field of polymer technology.


Fracture Surface Polymer Surface Differential Interference Contrast Ethylene Terephthalate Conventional Transmission Electron Microscopy 
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Copyright information

© Applied Science Publishers Ltd 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Hemsley
    • 1
  1. 1.Loughborough University of TechnologyUK

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