2005 Volume 62 Issue 10 Pages 488-501
Recently, three-dimensional (3D) direct observations and analyses of polymer morphologies have drawn considerable attention because they not only offer intuitive understanding of the morphologies but also provide novel structural parameters that can never be obtained from other techniques. Together with the laser scanning confocal microscopy, transmission electron microtomography (TEMT) and X-ray computerized tomography allow 3D direct observations over a wide spatial range from nm to μm: The most sophisticated TEMT achieves the spatial resolution of less than 1 nm in the 3D reconstructed images. In the present paper, various applications of the 3D microscopy to polymer nano-structures, including microphase-separated structures of block copolymers (cylindrical- and gyroid-structures), polymer/clay and polymer/filler nano-composites, will be reported in order to demonstrate the wide and promising capabilities of the new technique. A novel experimental technique of TEMT, i. e. “dual-axis tomography”, is also reported.