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Proceedings Paper

Quality control of polymeric compounds using terahertz imaging
Author(s): Frank Rutz; Martin Koch; Shilpa Khare; Martin Moneke
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Paper Abstract

Polymers are often mixed with other additives or fillers to yield compounds with modified physical properties. In most cases a homogeneous mixture is desired. Yet, it often remains difficult to verify the degree of homogeneity of the resulting compound especially for nano-scaled fillers. We present initial experiments to evaluate the potential of terahertz (THz) spectroscopy for the quality control of polymeric compounds. We study low-density polyethylene (LDPE) samples which contain titanium dioxide nanospheres with a typical diameter of 270 nm which themselves are coated with even smaller silver nanoparticles with a typical diameter of 20 nm. Images obtained with a standard terahertz time-domain spectrometer show significant inhomogeneities in the compound on a millimeter scale. The imaging results indicate imperfectly mixed material regions. On the other hand, we show that also fluctuations in the sample thickness can lead to inhomogeneous terahertz images. A final conclusion, if the inhomogeneities observed in our LDPE/Ag-TiO2 samples result from variations in the compound composition or from thickness fluctuations, cannot be drawn at this point.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 March 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5727, Terahertz and Gigahertz Electronics and Photonics IV, (25 March 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.590301
Show Author Affiliations
Frank Rutz, Technische Univ. Braunschweig (Germany)
Martin Koch, Technische Univ. Braunschweig (Germany)
Shilpa Khare, German Institute for Polymers (Germany)
Martin Moneke, German Institute for Polymers (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5727:
Terahertz and Gigahertz Electronics and Photonics IV
R. Jennifer Hwu; Kurt J. Linden, Editor(s)

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