Radiation can create atomic-scale defect states in polymers, leading to changes in their optical, electrical and mechanical properties. Recent studies of polymers have shown that these defect states are sensitive to oxygen or air exposure. It is believed that air cause the number of defect states to decrease and the polymers to revert to their original states. However, the time scale of this regression is not known. This experiment quantified the time that it takes one polymer to recover and the extent of said recovery; polymide (PI). In order to study the regression, optical transmission data were taken using a StellarNet UV/VIS Spectrometer. Optical data were collected at different intervals of time and then compared in order to quantify the time frame of the regression. Failure to account for this time-dependent recovery in radiation studies may result in inaccurate results and has called into question previous studies involving radiation effects in polymers where exposure times were not recorded.
Swainston, Ashlan Keeler, "Optical Relaxation of Defects in Kapton Caused by Irradiation" (2020). Physics Capstone Projects. Paper 88.