Authors:B. Sauer, W. Kampert, R. McLean, and P. Carcia
The thermal and crystal morphological properties of poly[ethylene teraphthalate] (PET) and poly(ethylene-2,6-naphthalenedicarboxylate) (PEN) biaxially oriented films were compared to amorphous and other isotropic semi-crystalline samples. Crystal melting as a function of temperature was characterized by temperature modulated DSC (TMDSC) and found to begin just above the glass transition for both oriented films. About 75°C above the glass transitions, substantial exothermic recrystallization begins and continues through the final melting region in oriented films. The maximum in the non-reversing TMDSC signal for the oriented films signifies the maximum recrystallization exothermic activity with peaks at 248°C and 258°C for PET and PEN, respectively. The final melting endotherm detected was 260°C and 270°C for PET and PEN, and is shown by the TMDSC data and by independent rapid heating rate melting point determinations to be due to the melting of species recrystallized during the heating scan. The results are compared with TMDSC data for initially amorphous and melt crystallized samples. The volume fraction of rigid species (Frigid=total crystal fraction plus rigid amorphous or non-crystalline species) were measured by TMDSC glass transition data, and contrasted with the area fraction of rigid species at the oriented film surface characterized with very high resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) phase data. The data suggest that the 11 nm wide hard domains in PET, and 21 nm wide domains in PEN film detected by AFM consist of both crystal and high stiffness interphase species.