The Microscopy: Polymer Characterization Service forms part of the Advanced Research Facilities (SGIker) of the University of the Basque Country, and came into being as a result of the major boom there has been in polymer materials over the last few decades. .
Material Science applied in the field of polymers currently focuses on the relationships existing between obtaining processes, present structures and final properties of polymer materials. An exhaustive characterization of the polymer material to be studied is necessary in order to be able to find these relationships.
Microscopy is one of the most-used technques at present, and one of those that produces the best results when carrying out a morphological, surface, structural and, in the case of dispersions, colloidal characterization of polymers. To this end, the aim of this Service is to provide the equipment, technical assistance and specialist training required to characterize the materials via microscopy.
The main facilities available involve the morphological study of multi-component polymer materials and semi-crystalline polymers, and determining particle sizes of colloidal scattering. However, owing to major advances in the field of analytical microscopy in recent years, it is also possible to carry out both qualitative and quantitative analyses of the different compounds that make up the phases of a multi-component material. In addition to all these facilities, the Service is willing to adapt to any new needs that may be related to the study of polymer materials.
The Service possesses instruments that includes a transmission electron microscope and the instruments required to prepare samples: an ultramicrotome and a cryoultramicrotome.