Crystallization and Melting of Bulk Polymers: New Observations, Conclusions and a Thermodynamic Scheme
Prog. Polym. Sci. 31, 398 (2006)
Physikalisches Institut, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Hermann-Herder-Str. 3, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
New findings during the last decade have triggered a reconsideration of the foundations of polymer crystallization. The article reviews the new experimental results, points at some straightforward conclusions and presents also a novel thermodynamic scheme developed on the basis of the observations. The expansion of knowledge is due to the introduction of novel techniques - in-situ atomic force microscopy, modulated and high speed calorimetry, microbeam X-ray scattering, combination of standard techniques in simultaneous runs, or the use of new evaluation procedures in scattering experiments and spectroscopy - and this is demonstrated presenting a selection of important and clear-cut experimental results. Attention remains restricted to the crystallization and melting of homopolymers and related statistical copolymers in the bulk, emanating from a quiescent melt or an isotropic glass.