We demonstrate the application of fluorescence microscopy to detect nanoscale deformation and damage in polymeric materials. Fluorescent probes were dispersed in a poly-dimethyl siloxane matrix, and were subsequently strained with and without the presence of edge cracks. This technique can reveal cracks that are invisible to white light microscopy (smaller than 250 nm), and is outperformed only by high resolution electron or scanning probe microscopy. The technique may find applications in early stage damage detection in structural health monitoring systems for a wide variety of polymeric materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering