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Crystals 2017, 7(4), 115; doi:10.3390/cryst7040115

Morphological Control of Polymer Spherulites via Manipulating Radial Lamellar Organization upon Evaporative Crystallization: A Mini Review

1
Anhui Collaborative Innovation Center for Petrochemical New Materials, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Anqing Normal University, Anqing 246011, China
2
Faculty of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315016, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Polymer Physics and Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130022, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eamor M. Woo
Received: 21 March 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 17 April 2017 / Published: 19 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crystal Morphology and Assembly in Spherulites)
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Abstract

Various spherulites or spherulitic crystals are widely encountered in polymeric materials when crystallized from viscous melts or concentrated solutions. However, the microstructures and growth processes are quite complicated and remain unclear and, thus, the formation mechanisms are rather elusive. Here, diverse kinds of spherulitic growths and patterns of typical polyesters via evaporative crystallization of solution-cast thin films are delineated after detailed investigating the microstructures and in situ following the developing processes. The spherulitic crystals produced under different evaporation conditions reflect variously optical features, such as the usual Maltese Cross, non-birefringent or half-birefringent concentric-rings, extinction spiral banding, and even a nested ring-banded pattern. Polymer spherulites are composed of stacks of radial fibrillar lamellae, and the diversity of bewitchingly spherulitic morphologies is dominated by the arrangement and organization of radial lamellae, which is predicted to be tunable by modulating the evaporative crystallization processes. The emergence of various types of spherulitic morphologies of the same polymer is attributed to a precise manipulation of the radial lamellar organization by a coupling of structural features and specific crystal evolving courses under confined evaporation environments. The present findings improve dramatically the understanding of the structural development and crystallization mechanism for emergence of diverse polymer spherulitic morphologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer spherulite; ringed or banded morphology; lamellar organization or assembly; periodic twisting; rhythmic crystal growth; evaporative crystallization polymer spherulite; ringed or banded morphology; lamellar organization or assembly; periodic twisting; rhythmic crystal growth; evaporative crystallization
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Li, Y.; Wang, Z.; He, T. Morphological Control of Polymer Spherulites via Manipulating Radial Lamellar Organization upon Evaporative Crystallization: A Mini Review. Crystals 2017, 7, 115.

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