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Physical and chemical imaging of adhesive interfaces with soft X-rays
Communications Materials  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-06-11, DOI: 10.1038/s43246-021-00168-5
Hiroyuki Yamane, Masaki Oura, Osamu Takahashi, Tomoko Ishihara, Noriko Yamazaki, Koichi Hasegawa, Tetsuya Ishikawa, Kiyoka Takagi, Takaki Hatsui

Adhesion is an interfacial phenomenon that is critical for assembling carbon structural composites for next-generation aircraft and automobiles. However, there is limited understanding of adhesion on the molecular level because of the difficulty in revealing the individual bonding factors. Here, using soft X-ray spectromicroscopy we show the physical and chemical states of an adhesive interface composed of a thermosetting polymer of 4,4’-diaminodiphenylsulfone-cured bisphenol A diglycidyl ether adhered to a thermoplastic polymer of plasma-treated polyetheretherketone. We observe multiscale phenomena in the adhesion mechanisms, including sub-mm complex interface structure, sub-μm distribution of the functional groups, and molecular-level covalent-bond formation. These results provide a benchmark for further research to examine how physical and chemical states correlate with adhesion, and demonstrate that soft X-ray imaging is a promising approach for visualizing the physical and chemical states at adhesive interfaces from the sub-mm level to the molecular level.