|About the Book|
Block copolymers exhibit a wealth of morphologies that continue to find ubiquitous use in a diverse variety of mature and emergent (nano)technologies, such as photonic crystals, integrated circuits, pharmaceutical encapsulents, fuel cells andMoreBlock copolymers exhibit a wealth of morphologies that continue to find ubiquitous use in a diverse variety of mature and emergent (nano)technologies, such as photonic crystals, integrated circuits, pharmaceutical encapsulents, fuel cells and separation membranes. While numerous studies have explored the effects of molecular confinement on such copolymers, relatively few have examined the sub-microdomain structure that develops upon modification of copolymer molecular architecture or physical incorporation of nanoscale objects. This work will address two relevant topics in this vein: (i) bidisperse brushes formed by single block copolymer molecules and (ii) copolymer nanocomposites formed by addition of molecular or nanoscale additives. In the first case, an isomorphic series of asymmetric poly(styrene-b -isoprene-b-styrene) (S1IS2) triblock copolymers of systematically varied chain length has been synthesized from a parent SI diblock copolymer. Small-angle x-ray scattering, coupled with dynamic rheology and self-consistent field theory (SCFT), reveals that the progressively grown S2 block initially resides in the I-rich matrix and effectively reduces the copolymer incompatibility until a critical length is reached. At this length, the S2 block co-locates with the S1 block so that the two blocks generate a bidisperse brush (insofar as the S1 and S2 lengths differ). This single-molecule analog to binary block copolymer blends affords unique opportunities for materials design at sub-microdomain length scales and provides insight into the transition from diblock to triblock copolymer (and thermoplastic elastomeric nature). In the second case, I explore the distribution of molecular and nanoscale additives in microphase-ordered block copolymers and demonstrate via SCFT that an interfacial excess, which depends strongly on additive concentration, selectivity and relative size, develops. These predictions are in agreement with experimental findings. Moreover, using a poly(styrene-b-methyl methacrylate) (SM) diblock copolymer with an order-disorder transition temperature (TODT) of 186°C, we find that the addition of clustered and discrete nanoparticles of varying size and surface selectivity can cause T ODT to generally decrease, but occasionally increase. Also experimenting with a poly(styrene-b-isoprene) (SI) diblock copolymer with an TODT of 116°C, we find that the addition of smaller nanoparticles at small volume fractions effect the TODT more profoundly. The latter unexpected results are likewise predicted by SCFT and provide a unique strategy by which to improve the nanostructure stability of block copolymers by physical means.