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Orientation mapping of semicrystalline polymers using scanning electron nanobeam diffraction.


We demonstrate a scanning electron nanobeam diffraction technique that can be used for mapping the size and distribution of nanoscale crystalline regions in a polymer blend. In addition, it can map the relative orientation of crystallites and the degree of crystallinity of the material. The model polymer blend is a 50:50w/w mixture of semicrystalline poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT) and amorphous polystyrene (PS). The technique uses a scanning electron beam to raster across the sample and acquires a diffraction image at each probe position. Through image alignment and filtering, the diffraction image dataset enables mapping of the crystalline regions within the scanned area and construction of an orientation map.

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