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Polymers 2016, 8(10), 358; doi:10.3390/polym8100358

Mapping the Mechanical Properties of Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) Banded Spherulites by Nanoindentation

Department of Macromolecular Physics, Institute for the Structure of Matter (IEM-CSIC), Serrano 119 and 113bis, 28006 Madrid, Spain
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Academic Editor: Patrick Ilg
Received: 28 July 2016 / Revised: 4 October 2016 / Accepted: 7 October 2016 / Published: 12 October 2016
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Abstract

Nanoindentation provides clear evidence that spherulite banding can be associated with a continuous modulation of mechanical properties from the more compliant peaks to the stiffer valleys. The structural arrangement in polymer-banded spherulites has intrigued scientists for many decades, and the debate has been recently intensified with the advent of new experimental evidence. The present paper approaches this issue by exploring the local mechanical properties of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate)-ringed spherulites via nanoindentation and discussing the confidence of the results. It was found that storage modulus and hardness across the banding morphology can be described as a sequence of regular oscillations with a periodicity that exactly matches the one observed using optical and atomic force microscopy. Results are consistent with the model of regular twisting of the lamellae, with flat-on arrangement in the low regions and edge-on lamellae in the crests. View Full-Text
Keywords: banded spherulites; poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate); dynamic nanoindentation; AFM; lamellae twisting banded spherulites; poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate); dynamic nanoindentation; AFM; lamellae twisting
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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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Enrique-Jimenez, P.; Vega, J.F.; Martínez-Salazar, J.; Ania, F.; Flores, A. Mapping the Mechanical Properties of Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) Banded Spherulites by Nanoindentation. Polymers 2016, 8, 358.

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