Scratch damage of polymers in nanoscale
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Recent advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology have led to the development of miniaturized devices and components based on polymeric materials. These polymeric components and devices are subject to surface damage in the nanoscale range. Since the surface properties of polymers may be different from those of the bulk, techniques that focus on nanoscale surface damage have been applied to correlate surface damage with material characteristics and surface roughness of epoxies, polycarbonate, and polymethylmethacrylate. Under a constant loading and constant scratch rate testing condition, the results suggest that surface damage encountered is mainly material specific. Surface roughness plays little or no role in surface damage formed during the course of this study. Material characteristics influence the damage occurred when varying the penetration depth. Such variations can be assessed in terms of elastic recovery, damage pattern and damage mechanism. The variations in scratch head geometry, which, in turn, lead to the variations in magnitude of stress and stress field distribution, give rise to various scratch features on the polymer. 2003 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.