Material development and structure characterization

Structure characterization

An essential component of our work is to explore structure-property relationships of advanced materials. We use the extensive experience of our staff in the areas of light and electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and NMR spectroscopy as well as good scientific equipment for structural characterization. The different methods complement each other very well and are therefore often used in an effective combination.

For the transmission and scanning electron microscopy in particular, the special preparation techniques for artifact-free imaging of morphological structures of polymeric solids, fibers, composites, and especially of high-swollen starch products.

For characterization of supermolecular structures, for determination of the degree of crystallinity, cristal dimensions and orientation state, as well as for characterization of pore structures of polymers we use the various X-ray diffraction methods in the wide- and small-angle region.

For NMR studies of solid native and synthetic polymers we primarily use the 13C-CP/MAS method. It can also be used to obtain high-resolution solid-state NMR spectra from which the material's chemical composition and molecular structure can be obtained. The high-resolution liquid-state NMR is routinely used to characterize the chemical structure of soluble monomers, intermediates and polymers.

To characterize the material's properties a wide range of mechanical test methods is available in an air conditioned laboratory. The testing machines cover a load range from 10 mg to 2 tons and are used for testing of single fibers to high-strength composites. Using thermal analysis, the fusion and crystallization processes are characterized. Thermo-mechanical properties such as heat resistance or complex E-moduli are also determined.