Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
Print version ISSN 0001-3765
GALEMBECK, FERNANDO; COSTA, CARLOS A. R.; GALEMBECK, ANDRÉ and SILVA, MARIA DO CARMO V. M.. Supramolecular ionics: electric charge partition within polymers and other non-conducting solids. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2001, vol.73, n.4, pp. 495-510. ISSN 0001-3765. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0001-37652001000400003.
Electrostatic phenomena in insulators have been known for the past four centuries, but many related questions are still unanswered, for instance: which are the charge-bearing species in an electrified organic polymer, how are the charges spatially distributed and which is the contribution of the electrically charged domains to the overall polymer properties? New scanning probe microscopies were recently introduced, and these are suitable for the mapping of electric potentials across a solid sample thus providing some answers for the previous questions. In this work, we report results obtained with two of these techniques: scanning electric potential (SEPM) and electric force microscopy (EFM). These results were associated to images acquired by using analytical electron microscopy (energy-loss spectroscopy imaging in the transmission electron microscope, ESI-TEM) for colloid polymer samples. Together, they show domains with excess electric charges (and potentials) extending up to hundreds of nanometers and formed by large clusters of cations or anions, reaching supramolecular dimensions. Domains with excess electric charge were also observed in thermoplastics as well as in silica, polyphosphate and titanium oxide particles. In the case of thermoplastics, the origin of the charges is tentatively assigned to their tribochemistry, oxidation followed by segregation or the Mawell-Wagner-Sillars and Costa Ribeiro effects.
Keywords : electrostatics of solids; electric charge excess; scanning electric potential microscopy; electric force microscopy; polymer electrostatic behavior.