Daeha Joung

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Physics and Astronomy

Committee Member

Marshall Thomsen, PhD

Committee Member

Alexandria Oakes, PhD

Committee Member

Donald Snyder, PhD


A new approach was attempted to investigate the characteristics of polymers by using photothermal technology. The Surface Thermal Lens (STL) technique was employed to study polymers because of its higher spatial resolution and greater sensitivity than the classical photothermal detection techniques (PDT). Zeonex [Cyclo-Olefin-Polymer] and acrylic [Poly–Methyl- Meth-Acrylate] were used as the samples. Polarization was applied to the STL technique. The signals of Zeonex were different from those of acrylic when the STL probe beam was polarized. Two different polarizer orientations for the probe beam, crossed and parallel, were used to observe the STL signal response to the samples. No time dependence in the STL signals of both Zeonex and acrylic was observed when the probe beam was unpolarized, but time dependence of the signals was observed when the probe beam was polarized. Zeonex showed the most significant signal changes under the crossed-polarizer conditions, and acrylic showed the most significant changes under the parallel-polarizer conditions, indicating a difference in the response of the chain-like molecules to the heating beam. Therefore, STL techniques using polarized light may provide new insight into structural changes in polymers.


Additional committee member: Diane Jacobs, PhD

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