Nanomechanical mapping of glass fiber reinforced polymer composites using atomic force acoustic microscopy



In this work, a dual-frequency resonance tracking (DFRT) method was applied on atomic force acoustic microscopy (AFAM) and high-resolution, quantitative nanomechanical mapping of a glass fiber–reinforced polymer composites (GFRP) was realized. Results show that even using the single-frequency AFAM, the fiber, and epoxy can give very good contrast in amplitude images. The modulus mapping result on GFRP by DFRT AFAM was compared with that by dynamic nanoindentation, and it is found that DFRT AFAM can map the elastic modulus with high spatial resolution and more reliable results. The interface of GFRP was especially investigated using a 2 μm × 2 μm scanning area. Finite element analysis was implemented to investigate the effect of tip radius and the applied pressing force on the interface measurement using a sharp “interface”. By setting a linear-modulus-varied interface with finite width in finite element analysis (FEA), similar comparison between FEA and AFAM experimental results was also implemented. The average interface width is determined to be 476 nm based on the high-resolution modulus image, indicating that AFAM is a powerful method for nanoscale interface characterization. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 39800.