Polymer Bulletin

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 567–574 | Cite as

A nanoscopic view at the spherulitic morphology of isotactic polypropylene by atomic force microscopy

  • Holger Schönherr
  • Daniel Snétivy
  • G. Julius Vansco


The spherulitic morphology of isotactic polypropylene (i-PP) was investigated by a combination of optical and atomic force microscopes. Thin films of i-PP were prepared in situ by using a hot stage. The crystallization conditions were carefully selected to produce different types of spherulites including α-I, α-II, mixed, and β-III types. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) scans unveiled morphological details such as mother/daughter lamellae, cross-hatching, and thickness and orientation of the lamellae. In a few cases, macromolecules were visualized. However, due to poor resolution, only the expected chain direction within the lamellae could be determined. The advantages and disadvantages of using AFM to study the surface of spherulites is discussed.


Polymer Microscopy Crystallization Thin Film Atomic Force Microscopy 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holger Schönherr
    • 1
  • Daniel Snétivy
    • 1
  • G. Julius Vansco
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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