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Open AccessReview

Recent Applications of Advanced Atomic Force Microscopy in Polymer Science: A Review

1
Institute of Research and Development, Duy Tan University, Da Nang 550000, Vietnam
2
Département de Chimie, Biochimie et Physique, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR), Trois-Rivières, QC G8Z 4M3, Canada
3
Laboratoire MAPIEM (EA 4323), Matériaux Polymères Interfaces Environnement Marin, Université de Toulon, CEDEX 9, 83041 Toulon, France
4
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A2, Canada
5
ENSCR—Institut des Sciences Chimiques de Rennes (ISCR)—UMR CNRS 6226, Univ Rennes, 35700 Rennes, France
6
Faculty of Environmental and Food Engineering, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, 300A Nguyen Tat Thanh, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City 755414, Vietnam
7
Department of Environmental Energy Engineering, Kyonggi University, Suwon 16227, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051142
Received: 5 March 2020 / Revised: 11 May 2020 / Accepted: 13 May 2020 / Published: 17 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymer Composites)
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been extensively used for the nanoscale characterization of polymeric materials. The coupling of AFM with infrared spectroscope (AFM-IR) provides another advantage to the chemical analyses and thus helps to shed light upon the study of polymers. This paper reviews some recent progress in the application of AFM and AFM-IR in polymer science. We describe the principle of AFM-IR and the recent improvements to enhance its resolution. We also discuss the latest progress in the use of AFM-IR as a super-resolution correlated scanned-probe infrared spectroscopy for the chemical characterization of polymer materials dealing with polymer composites, polymer blends, multilayers, and biopolymers. To highlight the advantages of AFM-IR, we report several results in studying the crystallization of both miscible and immiscible blends as well as polymer aging. Finally, we demonstrate how this novel technique can be used to determine phase separation, spherulitic structure, and crystallization mechanisms at nanoscales, which has never been achieved before. The review also discusses future trends in the use of AFM-IR in polymer materials, especially in polymer thin film investigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: AFM-IR; polymers; polymer composites; blends; polymer aging; nanoscale characterization; nanoscale characterization AFM-IR; polymers; polymer composites; blends; polymer aging; nanoscale characterization; nanoscale characterization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nguyen-Tri, P.; Ghassemi, P.; Carriere, P.; Nanda, S.; Assadi, A.A.; Nguyen, D.D. Recent Applications of Advanced Atomic Force Microscopy in Polymer Science: A Review. Polymers 2020, 12, 1142.

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