Direct evidence of nucleation during the induction period of polyethylene crystallization by SAXS

Masamichi Hikosaka, Shinichi Yamazaki, Isao Wataoka, Narayan Ch Das, Kiyoka Okada, Akihiko Toda, Katsuaki Inoue

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Direct evidence that nuclei are formed during the induction period of crystallization is obtained for the first time by means of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Polyethylene (PE) was used as a model crystalline polymer. The nucleating agent was mixed with PE in order to increase the scattering intensity Ix from nuclei as large as 104 times bigger than usual. Ix increased soon after quenching to the crystallization temperature from the melt and saturated after some time. A new theory is proposed to estimate the size of the nuclei N, the number density distribution of nuclei with N at time t, f(t,N), and the induction time τi, by analyzing the SAXS scattering intensity. The volume-averaged size of the nuclei was nearly the same as that of critical nuclei and does not change so much with time during the induction period. Lamellae start stacking much later than nuclei start forming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-865
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Macromolecular Science - Physics
Volume42 B
Issue number3-4 SPEC.
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Degree of supercooling
  • Induction period
  • Nucleation
  • Nucleus
  • Polyethylene
  • Small-angle X-ray scattering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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