FURI | Fall 2022

Nonisothermal Melt Crystallization Behavior of Semicrystalline Polymers Monitored Using an In Situ Fluorescence Technique

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The melt crystallization of semicrystalline thermoplastics is a physical process that dictates the key characteristics of the resulting materials. In this study, a fluorescence technique was developed to monitor the melt crystallization of the thermoplastic, poly (L-lactic acid) (PLLA). PLLA was fluorescently labeled with a fluorophore, CN4OH, which is sensitive to the degree of crystallinity in a semicrystalline polymer matrix. T-dependent fluorescence data were collected in situ during the melting crystallization, starting from an amorphous state. This will ultimately produce unprecedented insight into the polymer crystallization behavior, which can lead to remarkable progress within the sustainability world of biodegradable plastics.

Key words:

Polymer: A synthetic substance composed of large molecules in a series of long, repeating chains.

Semicrystalline Thermoplastic: A type of opaque polymer that has a distinct, ordered and strong molecular structure, creating a defined melting point.

Fluorophore: A type of dye bonded to the semicrystalline thermoplastics used in fluorescence testing to re-emit light upon excitation.

Fluorescence: The property of absorbing shorter wavelengths of light while emitting longer wavelengths of light.

Amorphous: Not crystallized.

Student researcher

Seth Thomas Storino

Electrical engineering

Hometown: Glendale, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2025