<b>An improved time-resolved soft-pulse dynamic compression attenuated total reflection (ATR) step-scan Fourier transform rheo-optical system has been developed. This system was used to observe reversible dynamic responses of poly(ethyleneterephthalate) (PET) and poly(p-phenylene biphenyltetracarboximide) (BPDA-PDA) films. In the case of PET, reversible nonlinear dynamic responses were observed in the C=O stretching vibration. The nonlinear responses decreased with decreasing compressive strain from 0.045 to 0.018. For the C-O stretching bands associated with the backbone structure of the PET, the nonlinear responses were very small. Characteristic burst-like reversible nonlinear dynamic responses can be seen in the in-phase and out-of-phase C=O stretching vibrations of cyclic imides, and phenyl ring deformation bands in the PDA parts of the BPDA-PDA. The results suggest the presence of inter-molecular interaction between C=O of cyclic imides and the phenyl ring groups of the PDA parts. The present method shows promise for characterizing a wide variety of polymeric materials, including polymer alloys, blends, composites, and copolymers and semicrystalline polymers.</b>
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