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Surface and Interface Characterization of Polymers
Why Are Surfaces Important? The surfaces and interfaces of polymer films impact many properties including adhesion, printability, barrier performance, appearance and strength. Much of the value of converted polymer products revolves around surface modification and coatings. The thickness of these layers can range from the sub-nanometer – for contaminants or corona treatments – to tens of microns for packaging, paints and laminates.
What Tools Are Available for Studying Polymer Surfaces? When questions arise about surface chemical properties of materials many of the commonly available analytical tools are poorly suited because their signals originate from the “bulk” of the polymer. Tools for probing the near-surfaces of materials fall into three broad categories with some overlaps. These categories include: (1) physical property testing, (2) microanalytical and, (3) surface chemical.