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Microstructure formation on polymers induced by atomic oxygen; Higher-order structure effects on morphologies

Goto, Aki*; Tanji, Takashi*; Tagawa, Masahito*; Michishio, Koji*; Oka, Toshitaka   ; Yamashita, Shinichi*

Atomic oxygen (AO) is a dominant constituent of residual atmosphere in low Earth orbit, it is necessary to evaluate materials' durability against AO before launching but the mechanism for the microstructure formation has not been understood. In this study, we irradiated AO to polymer surface and investigated the change of surface morphologies. The mass losses of irradiated polymers were similar regardless of polymer's type and temperature, however, the formed protrusions became larger and fewer with increasing temperature. This shows that the polymer chains' thermal motions affected the surface morphologies.



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