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Proceedings Paper

Visualization of microstructure in soft polymer films with a combined near-field/confocal polarization microscope
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Paper Abstract

We describe experiments demonstrating the performance of a recently developed combined near-field and confocal polarization microscope, which was designed for imaging microstructure in soft anisotropic polymer films. Phase modulation (PM) of light (488 nm) is implemented in both near-field and confocal channels to increase sensitivity to birefringence. Images of radially symmetric objects, spherulites, in the polyethylene films confirmed the high performance of this microscope in imaging of both magnitude and sign of birefringence. On the other hand, PM images of the crosslinked polybutadiene films revealed unexpected domain structure that indicates heterogeneity in local chain deformations and alignments. It is shown that the domains are correlated with the local density fluctuations of crosslinks.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 September 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3791, Near-Field Optics: Physics, Devices, and Information Processing, (22 September 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.363861
Show Author Affiliations
Andrey V. Kosterin, Univ. of Minnesota/Twin Cities (United States)
C. Daniel Frisbie, Univ. of Minnesota/Twin Cities (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3791:
Near-Field Optics: Physics, Devices, and Information Processing
Suganda Jutamulia; Motoichi Ohtsu; Toshimitsu Asakura, Editor(s)

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