Nondestructive 3D Imaging of Microscale Damage inside Polymers-Based on the Discovery of Self-Excited Fluorescence Effect Induced by Electrical Field

WX Sima and XY Tang and PT Sun and ZK Sun and T Yuan and M Yang and C Zhu and ZY Shi and Q Deng, ADVANCED SCIENCE, 10 (2023).

DOI: 10.1002/advs.202302262

The development of high-precision, non-destructive, and three- dimensional (3D) in situ imaging of micro-scale damage inside polymers is extremely challenging. Recent reports suggest that 3D imaging technology based on micro-CT technology causes irreversible damage to materials and is ineffective for many elastomeric materials. In this study, it is discovered that electrical trees inside silicone gel induced by an applied electric field can induce a self-excited fluorescence effect. Based on this, high-precision, non-destructive, and 3D in situ fluorescence imaging of polymer damages is successfully achieved. Compared with the current methods, the fluorescence microscopic imaging method enables slicing of the sample in vivo with high-precision operation, realizing the precise positioning of the damaged area. This pioneering discovery paves the way for high- precision, non-destructive, and 3D in situ imaging of polymer internal damage, which can solve the problem of internal damage imaging in insulating materials and precision instruments.

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