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“Secondary electron spectra of semi-crystalline polymers – A novelpolymer characterisation tool?”

Maurizio Dapor, Robert C. Masters, Ian Ross, David G. Lidzey, Andrew Pearson,Isabel Abril, Rafael Garcia-Molina, Jo Sharp, Marek Unˇcovsk´y, Tomas Vystavel,Filip Mika, Cornelia Rodenburg
The nano-scale dispersion of ordered/disordered phases in semi-crystalline polymers can strongly influ-ence their performance e.g. in terms of mechanical properties and/or electronic properties. However,to reveal the latter in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) often requires invasive sample preparation(etching of amorphous phase), because SEM usually exploits topographical contrast or yield differencesbetween different materials. However, for pure carbon materials the secondary spectra were shown todiffer substantially with increased order/disorder. The aims here is to gain an understanding of the shapeof secondary electron spectrum (SES) of a widely used semi-crystalline polymer regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl), commonly known as P3HT, and its links to the underlying secondary electronemission mechanisms so SES can be exploited for the mapping the nano-morphology. The comparisonof simulated and experimental SES shows an excellent agreement, revealing a peak (at about 0.8 eV)followed by a broad shoulder (between 2 eV and 4.5 eV) with respective relative intensities reflectingorder/disorder.
Date of publication: 
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Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena 222 (2018) 95