Chad Snyder - Imaging the Molecular Structure of Polyethylene Blends with Broadband Coherent Raman Microscopy

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      Publication Details (including relevant citation   information):

      Y.J. Lee, C.R. Snyder, A.M. Forster, M.T. Cicerone and W. Wu,   ACS Macro Lett. 1, 1347-1351 (2012).


      Polyethylene (PE) has been widely used in a myriad of consumer   products and critical infrastructure products such as underground   gas and water pipes. These products are often made of blends of   multiple types of PE with different molecular architectures.   Although the long-term performance of these products is largely   dictated by their local molecular structure, it has been studied   mostly by indirect and bulk-averaging methods such as calorimetry   and neutron scattering due to lack of chemical contrast for   conventional imaging techniques. We demonstrate that broadband   coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy can   acquire images of the chemical composition and molecular   orientation of a miscible semicrystalline PE blend with two   different molecular architectures. We discuss the detailed   crystal structure observed at different length scales and new   insights it provides into polymer crystal morphology.

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