Application Note: Microscopic characterization of polymer fibers with mechanical properties similar to dragline spider silk
6 November 2023

In this application note, ZEISS presents the microscopic characterization of synthetic fibers using ZEISS field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and X-ray microscopy (XRM). This analysis aids in optimizing the manufacturing process of strong and tough polymer fibers. Spider dragline silk, known for its exceptional mechanical properties, is explored. While it surpasses steel in strength and toughness on an equal weight basis, it is also lighter, thinner, and more flexible. If commercially harvested, spider silk could revolutionize various high-tech, commercial, and consumer applications, including bridge cables, aerospace components, biodegradable water bottles, and antimicrobial medical devices due to its superior properties.