Molecular anisotropy effects in carbon K-edge scattering: depolarized diffuse scattering and optical anisotropy
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Molecular anisotropy effects in carbon K-edge scattering: depolarized diffuse scattering and optical anisotropy

  • Author(s): Stone, Kevin H.
  • et al.
Abstract

Some polymer properties, such as conductivity, are very sensitive to short- and intermediate-range orientational and positional ordering of anisotropic molecular functional groups, and yet means to characterize orientational order in disordered systems are very limited. We demonstrate that resonant scattering at the carbon K-edge is uniquely sensitive to short-range orientation correlations in polymers through depolarized scattering at high momentum transfers, using atactic polystyrene as a well-characterized test system. Depolarized scattering is found to coexist with unpolarized fluorescence, and to exhibit pronounced anisotropy. We also quantify the spatially averaged optical anisotropy from low-angle reflectivity measurements, finding anisotropy consistent with prior visible, x-ray absorption, and theoretical studies. The average anisotropy is much smaller than that in the depolarized scattering and the two have different character. Both measurements exhibitclear spectral signatures from the phenyl rings and the polyethylene-like backbone. Discussion focuses on analysis considerations and prospects for using this depolarized scattering for studies of disorder in soft condensed matter.

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