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High-Angle Annular Dark Field Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy on Carbon-Based Functional Polymer Systems

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 May 2009

Erwan Sourty
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Materials and Interface Chemistry and Soft-Matter CryoTEM Research Unit, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 513, NL-5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands FEI Company, Achtseweg Noord 5, Building AAE, 5600 KA Eindhoven/Acht, The Netherlands
Svetlana van Bavel
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Materials and Interface Chemistry and Soft-Matter CryoTEM Research Unit, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 513, NL-5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands Dutch Polymer Institute, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 902, NL-5600 AX Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Kangbo Lu
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Materials and Interface Chemistry and Soft-Matter CryoTEM Research Unit, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 513, NL-5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands Dutch Polymer Institute, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 902, NL-5600 AX Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Ralph Guerra
Affiliation:
The Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, TX 77541, USA
Georg Bar
Affiliation:
Dow Olefinverbund GmbH, PO 1163, 06258 Schkopau, Germany
Joachim Loos*
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Materials and Interface Chemistry and Soft-Matter CryoTEM Research Unit, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 513, NL-5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands Dutch Polymer Institute, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 902, NL-5600 AX Eindhoven, The Netherlands Laboratory of Polymer Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 513, NL-5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
*
Corresponding author. E-mail: j.loos@tue.nl

Abstract

Two purely carbon-based functional polymer systems were investigated by bright-field conventional transmission electron microscopy (CTEM) and high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM). For a carbon black (CB) filled polymer system, HAADF-STEM provides high contrast between the CB agglomerates and the polymer matrix so that details of the interface organization easily can be revealed and assignment of the CB phase is straightforward. For a second system, the functional polymer blend representing the photoactive layer of a polymer solar cell, details of its nanoscale organization could be observed that were not accessible with CTEM. By varying the camera length in HAADF-STEM imaging, the contrast can be enhanced between crystalline and amorphous compounds due to diffraction contrast so that nanoscale interconnections between domains are identified. In general, due to its incoherent imaging characteristics HAADF-STEM allows for reliable interpretation of the data obtained.

Type
Materials Applications
Copyright
Copyright © Microscopy Society of America 2009

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References

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