Nanoscale calorimetry of isolated polyethylene single crystals

Authors

  • A. T. Kwan,

    1. Materials Science and Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801
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  • M. Yu. Efremov,

    1. Materials Science and Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801
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  • E. A. Olson,

    1. Materials Science and Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801
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  • F. Schiettekatte,

    1. Materials Science and Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801
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  • M. Zhang,

    1. Materials Science and Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801
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  • P. H. Geil,

    1. Materials Science and Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801
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  • L. H. Allen

    Corresponding author
    1. Materials Science and Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801
    • Materials Science and Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801
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Abstract

We used thin-film differential scanning calorimetry to investigate the melting of isolated polyethylene single crystals with lamellar thicknesses of 12 ± 1 nm. We observed the melting of as few as 25 crystals. Over a wide number of crystals (25–2000 crystals), the heat of fusion was 40% larger than the bulk value. The melting temperature of the isolated single crystals was 123 ± 2 °C, 9 °C lower than that of the bulk material. We also measured the heat of fusion of quenched crystals (±15%) over a wide range of heating rates (20,000–100,000 K/s). Annealing the quenched crystals resulted in shifts in the endotherm peak by as much as 15 °C. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Polym Sci B: Polym Phys 39: 1237–1245, 2001

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