Dynamic light scattering from polymer gels is complicated by the fact that the scattering intensity and its time correlation function change as different parts of a sample are explored. This results from the nonergodicity of the sample-time averages are not the same as ensemble averages, the result of a finite rigidity that leads to constrained inhomogeneities. We demonstrate a direct technique for ensemble averaging (by moving the sample), present the experimental correlation function containing correlations that do not decay with time, and show that the light scattering results from a superposition of static scattering from immobile inhomogeneities and dynamic density fluctuations from ''gel modes.''
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics