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Issue 18, 2010
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Time-resolved polarized light imaging of sheared materials: application to polymer crystallization

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Abstract

Direct visual observations remain an important part of experiments aimed at gaining insight to the basic mechanisms taking place in soft matter. A combinatorial shear-induced polarized light imaging (SIPLI) technique has been developed to detect changes of birefringence associated with the structural state of polymeric liquids (polymer melts, copolymer solutions, liquid crystals, colloids, emulsions and biomaterials) via time-resolved measurements of interference fringes and the optical contrast of boundaries. The SIPLI exploits a full view of the sample sheared by torsional parallel plates. The proposed technique has been tested on polymer melts. The complete pathway of shear-induced crystallization (SIC) of polymers from the stretching of the molecules through oriented point nuclei formation to shish-kebab crystallization has been revealed for the first time in a single experiment. Polarized light imaging (PLI) measurements of shear rate parameters for the formation of shish structure are compared with small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) results including time-resolved SAXS measurements of SIC. The method used can be successfully applied to other shear-induced phenomena such as stress, orientation and structural transitions. A measurement of the stress-optical coefficient by the SIPLI technique is demonstrated.

Graphical abstract: Time-resolved polarized light imaging of sheared materials: application to polymer crystallization

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 May 2010, accepted on 29 Jun 2010 and first published on 09 Aug 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00332H
Citation: Soft Matter, 2010,6, 4430-4440
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    Time-resolved polarized light imaging of sheared materials: application to polymer crystallization

    O. O. Mykhaylyk, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 4430
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00332H

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