The European Physical Journal E

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 111–117 | Cite as

Direct visualisation of homogeneous and heterogeneous crystallisation in an ensemble of confined domains of poly(ethylene oxide)

  • M. V. Massa
  • J. L. Carvalho
  • K. Dalnoki-Veress


We present a study of homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation in polymer crystallisation. In bulk samples the crystallization is typically dominated by nucleation from defects (heterogeneous nucleation), and consequently studies must rely on sample preparation to minimize this effect. We present a study of nucleation within discrete droplets of poly(ethylene oxide) that are formed by the dewetting of a thin film on an unfavourable substrate. The samples provide an ensemble of impurity-free droplets, with length scales that can easily be measured. We show that the data for heterogeneous and homogeneous nucleation is qualitatively different, and that the data mirrors the fundamental differences in the underlying mechanisms for the two nucleation processes. The experiments presented here provide a simple method that can be used to study heterogeneous and homogeneous nucleation in great detail.


Oxide Polymer Ethylene Crystallization Thin Film 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. V. Massa
    • 1
  • J. L. Carvalho
    • 1
  • K. Dalnoki-Veress
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics & Astronomy and the Brockhouse Institute for Materials ResearchMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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