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Issue 24, 2010
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Tunable morphologies from charged block copolymers

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The bulk morphologies formed by a new class of charged block copolymers, 75 vol % fluorinated polyisoprene (FPI) – 25 vol% sulfonated polystyrene (PSS) with 50% sulfonation, are characterized, and the fundamental underlying forces that promote the self-assembly processes are elucidated. The results show how the bulk morphologies are substantially different from their uncharged diblock counterparts (PS-PI) and also how morphology can be tuned with volume fraction of the charged block and the casting solvent. A physical understanding based on the underlying strong electrostatic interactions between the charged block and counterions is obtained using Monte Carlo (MC) and Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations. The 75/25 FPI-PSS shows hexagonal morphologies with the minority blocks (PSS) forming the continuous phase due to charge percolation and the FPI blocks arranged in hexagonal cylinders. Some long-range order can be sustained even if lipophobicity is increased (addition of water), albeit with lower dimensional structures. However, thermal annealing provides sufficient energy to disrupt the percolated charges and promotes aggregation of ionic sites which leads to a disordered system. Diverse and atypical morphologies are readily accessible by simply changing the number distribution of the charges on the PSS block.

Graphical abstract: Tunable morphologies from charged block copolymers

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Jul 2010, accepted on 07 Sep 2010 and first published on 11 Oct 2010

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00733A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2010,6, 6146-6154
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    Tunable morphologies from charged block copolymers

    M. Goswami, B. G. Sumpter, T. Huang, J. M. Messman, S. P. Gido, A. I. Isaacs-Sodeye and J. W. Mays, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 6146
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00733A

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