Polymers have an important place in modern materials science. Due to the varying mechanical and chemical properties of polymers, they are used in almost every field of application and are important for the development of new materials with demanding requirements. WITec imaging systems enable comprehensive sample analysis that provides a thorough characterization of the physical and chemical properties of the polymers on the nanometer scale.
WITec’s highly versatile instruments can combine various imaging techniques to significantly increase the insights provided by measurement results. Possible combinations which can be included in a single microscope setup include confocal Raman imaging, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Nearfield-Microscopy (SNOM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Confocal Raman imaging provides chemical information, AFM detects topography, structure, and physical properties such as stiffness, adhesion, etc. of the sample’s surface, and SNOM high-resolution measurements can optically reach beyond the diffraction limit. All WITec instrument configurations can be upgraded at any point to adapt the system to new or extended requirements.
The video shows the polymerization reaction of an alkyd resin varnish monitored over 24 hours by Raman depth scans. It reveals the distribution of liquid varnish (red), polymerized product (blue), glass substrate (green) and air (black).