The morphological evolution of isolated individual single crystals deposited on solid substrates was investigated during annealing experiments using in situ and ex situ atomic force microscopy techniques. The crystal morphology changed during annealing at temperatures slightly above the original crystallization temperature of the crystals, far below their melting temperature. Evenly distributed cavities penetrated the crystals, and the number of cavities increased with a rising annealing temperature until the adjacent cavities coalesced. The thickness of the crystals increased during annealing at temperatures slightly above the crystallization temperature. Annealing experiments at fixed temperatures showed that the reorganization process (cavity formation and single-crystal thickening) was fast. Depending on the annealing temperature, the final morphology was formed in seconds. This behavior suggests high chain mobility as well as a homogeneous solid-state reorganization of the entire single crystal at low annealing temperatures.
|Journal||Journal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|