Investigation of polymer volume morphology using automated in-situ ultramicrotomy in SEM and 3D reconstruction

M. Wu*, ThermoFisher Scientific, Netherlands

Direct quantitative revelation of three dimension morphology is of great importance in understanding the inner microstructure and properties of polymer materials. By integrating an in-situ ultramicrotomy and electron microscopy, we provide a fully automated workflow which allows the acquisition of high resolution spatial SEM micrographs during serial sectioning using the microtome. The method is also known as serial block face SEM (SBFSEM). With the subsequent 3D reconstruction of the micrograph stacks, we can recover the comprehensive volume information of the polymer materials.

A polymer blend (isotactic polypropylene/ethylene propylene rubber particles) sample first underwent a tensile test then was vapor stained using RuO4 and embedded in resin for further examination. The SBFSEM experiment was conducted in ThermoFisher Apreo VSTM which combines hardware and software components into one integrated system and is designed for fully automatic data acquisition on soft materials samples...

Session: M1 - Membrane Design and Characterization
Day: 22 October 2019
Time: 13:00 - 14:15 h

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