Scientists Study Polymers at Atomic-Scale

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Atomic-Scale

The pervasiveness of plastics in multiple industries has resulted in an increasing use of polymers such as polypropylene and polyethylene. From plastic bottles and containers to toys and mops, plastic is a key end material in several sectors that hold significance for humans. Despite such a wide applications portfolio of plastics, the properties, atomic structure, and other specifications of polymers have remained an area of exploration and research. The study of the atomic structure of polymers has only been conducted via computer simulations, and there has been little tangible research in this regard. As a breakthrough in the study of atomic structures of synthetic polymers, a team of researchers from UC Berkley and Berkeley Lab found an effective technique to get atomic-scale structures of these polymers.

Developing Better Design Methods

The electron-based technique for studying polymer structures at atomic-scale could help in developing new designs, better fabrication hacks, and devices based on polymers. The study was published in the Macromolecules Journal by the American Chemical Society, and it focused on elucidating imaging techniques based on cryogenic microscopy. Peptoid polymers and their 35 of their crystal structure arrangement were used to get to the atomic structure of polymers.

Vindicating the Results

The researchers asserted that their research involved the use of the most symmetric polymer molecules and the peptoids used were also of the highest purity order. The previous knowledge about protein-imaging was also used by the researchers throughout their research and analysis. It is being asserted that the results of the research have taken us closer towards understanding polymers at atomic-scale.

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