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Observation of Polymer Birefringence in Near-Field Optical Microscopy
 

Summary: Letters
Observation of Polymer Birefringence in Near-Field
Optical Microscopy
H. Ade,*, R. Toledo-Crow, M. Vaez-Iravani, and R. J. Spontak§
Department of Physics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695,
Center for Imaging Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 9887,
Rochester, New York 14623-0887, and Department of Materials Science,
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695
Received February 6, 1995. In Final Form: May 8, 1995X
Birefringence, arising from locally preferred orientation of molecules or functional groups in polymeric
and related materials has been observed in a near-field scanning optical microscope (NSOM) at suboptical
spatial resolution. Our observations were successfully correlated to existing structural models of the
samples, demonstrating the utility of birefringence observations in NSOM. We present data acquired
from thin sections of a partially ordered polymer fiber (Kevlar) and a polymer dispersed small-molecule-
liquid-crystal composite.
Observation of birefringence in conventional, or far-
field,polarizationlightmicroscopyisanenormouslyuseful
and widespread form of characterization. It is routinely
utilizedinmaterialsandpolymerresearchandmanyother
fields of science, including geology, pharmacology, and

  

Source: Ade, Harald W.- Department of Physics, North Carolina State University

 

Collections: Physics