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New Publication on Quantitative Nanomechanical Mapping with the AFM. Schon et. al.

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Stephen Minne posted on Thu, Jan 27 2011 5:03 PM

Quantitative mapping of elastic moduli at the nanoscale in phase separated polyurethanes by AFM

Peter Schön, Kristóf Bagdi, Kinga Molnár, Patrick Markus, Béla Pukánszky,
G. Julius Vancso

The micro phase separated nanoscale morphology of phase separated polyurethanes (PUs) was visualized by atomic force microscopy (AFM) height and phase imaging of smooth surfaces obtained by ultramicrotonomy. PUs were obtained from 4,40-methylenbis (phenyl isocyanate) (MDI), 1,4-butanediol (BD) and poly(tetrahydrofurane) polyether polyol (PTHF). The segmented polyether PUs with varying stoichiometric ratio of the isocyanate and hydroxyl groups were prepared to investigate the effect of molar mass, as well as the type and number of end-groups on their morphology and mechanical performance. The PU samples studied show characteristic ‘‘fingerprint” AFM phase images. Novel dynamic imaging modes of AFM, including HarmoniX material mapping and Peak Force Tapping were used to assess the mechanical performance of phase separated polyurethanes quantitatively as a function of their molecular structure. The values of surface elastic moduli were determined with nanoscale resolution and were in excellent agreement for both AFM modes. While tensile testing provides a bulk average value for the elastic modulus of the elastomers, the novel AFM based elastic moduli mappings introduced enable the study of surface stiffness with nanoscale resolution in a quantitative way.



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