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Ultramicroscopy. 2008 Mar;108(4):302-8. Epub 2007 Apr 18.

Electric force microscopy investigation of a MEH-PPV conjugated polymer blend: robustness or frailty?

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  • 1Dept. de Química, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.


Electric force microscopy (EFM) was employed in the electrical characterization of a blend of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and poly(2-methoxy-5-(2'-ethyl-hexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene) (MEH-PPV) conjugated polymer. Although qualitative EFM interpretation is straightforward, its quantitative analysis always relies on approximated models. The extraction of physically reasonable parameters is normally assumed as a proof of validity of the theoretical model employed. In order to gather information about electric properties of this blend and to test the EFM technique itself, two distinct and discordant models were developed in this work to fit experimental EFM data. Even though MEH-PPV is regarded as a conductor in one model and as a dielectric in the other, both models yielded coherent and reasonable electrical properties for this blend. Such unexpected results are used to discuss the robustness or frailty of EFM in the analysis of complex materials.

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