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Birefringence Measurement (Sénarmont method)

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Quantification of the global orientation in polymers by birefringence measurement.


For the determination of the birefringence, specimens are prepared in such a way that the cross-sections are cut under an angle of approximately 45°. A light microscope (Jenapol) equipped with a halogen light source, monochromator (l = 558.5nm), polarizer and a rotating graduated analyzer (Sénarmont compensator) is used to measure the phase difference of the incident monochromatic polarized light beam. This is visually expressed as an certain amount of black lines/bands on the sample caused by speed differences of the propagating light in the anisotropic sample. The phase difference can be read out by using a compensator which is in our case a rotating graduated analyzer.