(595f) Solvent Vapor Annealing to Control Polymer Crystal Morphology

Authors: 
Albert, J. N. L., Chemical and Biomole
Bliesner, S., Tulane University
Degree of crystallinity, crystal morphology, and crystallite size affect many physical properties of semi-crystalline polyesters, including mechanical strength, optical clarity, and biodegradability. Inspired by the literature related to solvent vapor annealing (SVA) in block copolymer films and solvent-induced crystallization in semi-crystalline polymers, we are studying how SVA treatments impact crystal morphology. Using poly(ε-caprolactone) as a model polymer for our studies, we have conducted in-situ grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering experiments to determine when/if polymer crystals dissolve during solvent uptake and at what solvent concentrations recrystallization occurs during solvent removal. Additionally, we have examined polymer morphology across multiple length scales using a combination of optical microscopy, profilometry, and atomic force microscopy.
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