A scanning tunneling microscope study of polymer surface morphology

Richard Dean Piner, Purdue University

Abstract

The goal of this work was to determine the utility of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) for the study of the surface morphology of polymer structures. This thesis will present details of the mechanical design of a new STM. It will also discuss the computer hardware and software required to make the STM function. A detailed study of polyethylene crystals will be presented. The results of this study will be related to the growth and defects of these crystals. A calculation of tip-sample convolution will be shown. This calculation will demonstrate the limits of resolution of STM studies for all structures with steps larger than ten Angstroms. This includes the polymers discussed in this thesis. ^

Degree

Ph.D.

Advisors

Major Professor: Ronald Reifenberger, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Physics, Condensed Matter

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