Semi-crystalline elastomeric polypropylene
Our latest result reveals the complex shape and spatial arrangement of crystalline regions in elastomeric polypropylene. Non-linear image registration was used to obtain a high image quality over the entire imaging area. This work was supported by the VolkswagenStiftung. [From: N. Rehse et al., Advanced Materials;; (c) 2005 by Wiley-VCH.] See also the related press release (in German).

Block copolymer microdomain structure
As first example and proof of concept, the microdomain structure of a block copolymer (polystyrene-block-polybutadiene-block-polystyrene) was imaged with about 10 nm resolution. The specimen was stepwise eroded by plasma etching and imaged with tapping mode scanning force microscopy. The left image is composed from six "slices" and displays the core of a dislocation within hexagonally ordered cylinders of polystyrene. [From: R. Magerle, Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 2749 (2000); (c) 2000 by the American Physical Society.] Reprint and figures.

Ultrathin polymer film
Imaging the volume structure of coatings, in particular soft polymeric films on solid substrates, is often a challenge. In this example, an only about 50 nm thin block copolymer film was imaged from the original film surface down to the silicon substrate. The layer-by-layer imaging revealed a novel microdomain structure in the thin film: cylinders with necks. [From: M. Konrad et al., Macromolecules 33, 5518 (2000). (c) 2000 by the American Chemical Society.] Recent computer simulations showed the underlying physics which causes this pattern formation in thin films of block copolymers [for details, see: K. S. Lyakhova et al., J. Chem. Phys. 120, 1127 (2004)].

Nickel-based superalloy
Nanotomography of the Nickel-based superalloy CMSX-6. The displayed volume is about 6.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 µm3 large. Electrochemical etching and contact mode scanning force microscopy was used to image the material. [From: M. Göken, R. Magerle, M. Hund, K. Durst, in: Prakt. Metallogr. Sonderbd. 35, Metallographietagung Berlin 2003, (Ed.) P.D. Portella, Werkstoff-Informationgesellschaft mbH, Frankfurt (2004), S. 257]. (08/2005)