Revealing the glass transition in shape memory polymers using Brillouin spectroscopy.
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Emerging medical devices which employ shape memory polymers (SMPs) require precise measurements of the glass transition temperature (Tg) to ensure highly controlled shape recovery kinetics. Conventional techniques like differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) have limitations that prevent utilization for certain devices, including limited accuracy and the need for sacrificial samples. In this report, we employ an approach based on Brillouin spectroscopy to probe the glass transition of SMPs rapidly, remotely, and nondestructively. Further, we compare the Tg obtained from Brillouin scattering with DMA- and DSC-measured Tg to demonstrate the accuracy of Brillouin scattering for this application. We conclude that Brillouin spectroscopy is an accurate technique for obtaining the glass transition temperature of SMPs, aligning closely with the most common laboratory standards while providing a rapid, remote, and nondestructive method for the analysis of unique polymeric medical devices.