Growth process of homogeneously and heterogeneously nucleated spherulites as observed by atomic force microscopy

Yu Guo Lei, Chi Ming Chan, Yong Wang, Kai Mo Ng, Yong Jiang, Li Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


A poly(bisphenol A octane ether) (BA-C8) was synthesized. The isothermal spherulitic growth process was studied in situ using atomic force microscopy (AFM) at room temperature. For spherulites formed by homogeneous nucleation, the growth process includes the birth of a primary nucleus, the development of a founding lamella and the growth of the founding lamella into a spherulite. An embryo below a critical size is unstable. A stable embryo grows into a founding lamella. There is only one founding lamella in each spherulite. All other lamellae originate from this founding lamella. Two eyes can be seen at the center of a spherulite. For spherulites formed through heterogeneous nucleation, many lamellae grow at the nucleus surface and propagate outward radially. The spherulites acquire spherical symmetry at the early stage of crystallization. No eyes are found for this kind of spherulites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4673-4679
Number of pages7
Issue number16
StatePublished - Jul 10 2003



  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation
  • Polymer crystallization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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