Internal status of visibly opaque black rubbers investigated by terahertz polarization spectroscopy: Fundamentals and applications

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We discuss the internal status of rubber composites consisting of an insulating rubber matrix and conductive carbon black (CB) fillers ("black rubber") using polarization-sensitive terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS). The black rubber composites under stretched conditions exhibit a large optical anisotropy or birefringence in the terahertz regime. From systematic studies, it is revealed that the large birefringence of black rubbers is due to the orientation distribution of anisotropically shaped CB aggregates in the rubber matrix and the orientation distribution is strongly linked to the mechanical deformation of the black rubber. A model simulation based on this relation between deformation and reorientation allows conversion of the birefringence (optical) information into strain (mechanical) information. In addition, the spectroscopic information obtained using the THz-TDS technique is useful to evaluate the changes in the internal conductive filler network caused by the mechanical deformation. Our findings demonstrate that the terahertz polarization spectroscopy is a promising nondestructive inspection method for contactless investigation of the internal condition of black rubber composites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 21



  • Black rubber composites
  • Carbon black fillers
  • Internal strain
  • Percolation conductivity
  • Terahertz polarization spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics

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