Abstract

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging is sensitive to the mobile protons of solvent molecules and, as such, is well suited for studying the solvent diffusion in polymers. The fundamentals of NMR imaging are described, providing a platform for application of NMR imaging to diffusion processes in polymers. The constraints on the imaging experiment imposed by the diffusion process are discussed with respect to sample geometry and the rate of diffusion. A fast imaging scheme known as FLASH is described as an alternative method which reduces the influence of the diffusion rate and NMR relaxation parameters. Example images are given with regard to each of the constraints. An example of the successful application of NMR imaging to the study of Case II diffusion in PMMA is also given. The advantages and disadvantages of NMR imaging as applied to diffusion in polymers, as well as examples of the diffusion process that NMR imaging is uniquely qualified to study, are given in the conclusion.

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