Measuring Surface Roughness of Polymers by AFM

Anton Paar’s AFM Tosca™ 400 offers precise measurement of surface roughness for different kinds of polymers.

1 Introduction

Surface roughness has a strong influence on polymer properties, affecting the surface wettability, friction, and adhesion, as well as optoelectronic properties such as photon absorption, light reflection, etc. Here, we use the new atomic force microscope (AFM) from Anton Paar, the Tosca™ 400, to characterize several engineering polymers at production stage.

2 Experimental

Four polymer samples; polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), polyether ether ketone (PEEK), polyoxymethylene (POM), and polypropylene (PP) were characterized by using the Tosca™ 400. Several images were taken at different positions for each sample. All images are 50 x 50 μm, taken in contact mode under ambient conditions. The average surface roughness was calculated by using the root mean square of the height, according to ISO 25178, at three different locations for each sample.

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