Simultaneous SAXS/WAXS measurements of a semi-crystalline polymer during thermal processing enables determination of route for phase transformation.
It is well known that polymers undergo a large series of thermal transformations, from the synthesis in the reactor up to the final product shaping, i.e. during injection molding processing or film formation. Furthermore, quenching is sometimes part of the processing, for instance to retain a given nanostructure orientation or an out-of-equilibrium phase. Since polymers may self-organize over a wide hierarchical range, from the atomic scale up to several tenth of nanometers, simultaneous Small-Angle/Wide-Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS/WAXS) is the ideal technique to study such samples.
Simultaneous data collection is of particular interest during thermal processing as it enables dynamic in situ multi-scale investigation of both the crystalline phase and nanostructure to define the phase transformation route.