(448v) Mechanical Characterization of Pollen Grains By Atomic Force Microscopy
In the mechanical characterization, the elastic moduli of pollen shells were mapped quantitatively on 5Ã?5 Î¼m2 areas. The values of modulus were determined to be between 7~9Â GPa for ragweed, 3~7 GPa for pecan, and 8~18 GPa for Kentucky blue grass pollen particles. Saturation at a relative humidity of 90% reduces the Kentucky blue grass pollen modulus to 3~6 GPa after absorbing water. These values are used to place in context recent reports of pollen behavior as a filler. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the interactions between complex spiny microstructured particles have been directly measured by AFM. Moreover, pollen grains have excellent mechanical strength as an environmentally-friendly filler for high-performance composites.