Atomic force microscopy of gel-drawn ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene

S.N. Magonov, S.S. Sheiko, R.A.C. Deblieck, M. Möller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Gel-drawn ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene was studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Three-dimensional surface profiles were recorded for tapes drawn to different extents. AFM images allowed the discrimination of different well-defined levels of the fibrillar morphology: (i) bundles of microfibrils with a diameter between 4 and 7 μm strongly depending on the elongation; (ii) microfibrils with a diameter between 0.2 and 1.2 nm which also decreased with increasing draw ratio; (iii) nanofibrils which form the elementary fibrillar building blocks; and (iv) regular chain patterns on the molecular level which correspond to the crystalline packing of polyethylene chains at the surface of the nanofibrils. The nanofibrils were formed during the initial conversion of lamellae to fibrillar crystallites and did not change considerably in diameter up to draw ratios of λ = 70.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1380-1386
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1993


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