Asylum Research Announces Collaboration with TARRC for
Advanced AFM Polymer Studies
Asylum Research, a premier manufacturer of atomic force microscopes (AFMs), has announced its collaboration with TARRC to develop new capabilities for studying polymers and rubber under strained conditions using AFM. TARRC recently purchased the Asylum Research MFP-3D AFM for nanoscale studies of polymers and rubber composites.
“We are extremely pleased to be working with TARRC as a partner for polymer studies,” said Roger Proksch, President and co-founder of Asylum Research. “Preliminary work using our exclusive Dual AC™ imaging mode has already shown extremely interesting results in characterizing rubber composite materials.”
Dr. Stuart Cook, Head of Advanced Materials Division at TARRC added, “The Asylum Research AFM was the natural choice for our research. Its proven performance and advanced imaging modes will allow us to more accurately characterize and measure the physical property changes in elastomer systems. We’re looking forward to working with the excellent group of Asylum Research scientists to advance our studies.”
Current data taken with the MFP-3D AFM is being used to characterize a rubber composite, epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) and polybutadiene rubber BR as shown in the attached image. Silica-filled ENR is used in car tires to give lower rolling resistance which ultimately lowers fuel consumption, and also improves tire grip in wet conditions. Blends of ENR, a natural and renewable resource, along with other rubber compounds, are aimed at also improving other tire properties such as wear.
In the 3µm image, a silica-filled blend of ENR-BR was scanned using Dual AC Mode, an exclusive imaging technique that uses the second mode, or higher frequency of AFM cantilevers, to characterize different material properties. The black dots correspond to silica particles, the yellow and orange patches to the ENR regions, and the purple and black to the BR regions. This differentiation is only apparent in the second mode phase image and is directly related to the local elasticity.
About Asylum Research
Asylum Research manufactures advanced scientific instrumentation, including AFMs/Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPMs), for nanoscale science and technology. An AFM/SPM is one of the premier instruments used for measuring surfaces and surface properties at the nanometer level.
For additional information, please contact Terry Mehr, Director of Marketing, Asylum Research, 6310 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara, CA 93117, 805-696-6466, terry@AsylumResearch.com
For more information about TARRC's testing facilities using the MFP-3D AFM please contact Robin Davies.