Plastics, rubbers, and composites are common classes of polymers that are widely used in both consumer and industrial products. Formulating these materials to make them less expensive, more durable, and more sustainable requires knowledge of how structure, processing, properties, and performance are related.

Atomic force microscopy is a powerful tool for this work because of its ability to visualize both topography and nanomechanical properties at length scales from individual molecules up to the microstructure of domains, additives, and interfaces. Additionally, AFM can investigate the materials under conditions that mimic their processing or usage, including at elevated temperature and under mechanical strain.

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