Determination of the influence of the polymer structure and particle size on the film formation process of polymers by atomic force microscopy
The particle size and morphology of a synthetic polymer latex were shown to influence the film formation behavior. Theoretical models predict that small particles coalesce more easily than large colloids do. The influence of particle size and morphology of differently structured lattices on the film-formation process was investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Sequences of AFM images were acquired over a certain temperature range or at room temperature as a function of time. From the resulting images the average particle diameter of the latex particles in the surface layer was determined as a function of the time or temperature. The resulting curves could be compared to observe differences in the film formation kinetics of the different lattices. These AFM studies confirmed that the film formation behavior is influenced by the particle size and particle morphology, but that the core/shell ratio of core-shell particles has no significant influence on the film formation kinetics. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.