College of Engineering
Materials Engineering Department
BS in Materials Engineering
Conductive polymers can carry a charge due to the presence of excess electrons along the carbon backbone. By growing these polymers into crystals, the usual insulative isotropic matrix that polymers form will be replaced with anisotropic regions where conduction is possible parallel to the crystal lattice growth direction. In previous research, while growing sphere shaped crystals it was observed that a few would exhibit rings that formed parallel to the circumference of the sphere. In this project, the conditions to produce this ring structure were examined by looking at two polymer solutions (with carbon disulfide or dichlorobenzene as solvent) and two crystal growing temperatures (24°C and 26°C). Crystal growth rate was controlled through limited solvent evaporation. After the solvent had fully evaporated, the samples were observed under polarized optical microscopy to look at the orientation of the crystal lattice and to determine if the ring structure was present. Scanning electron microscopy was used to examine the structure at higher magnifications and to establish crystalline shape. The ring structure could be observed in samples from three of the four conditions. The condition that produced the highest contrast between the rings and the body of the spheres was the solution containing dichlorobenzene as the solvent at 24°C.