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Issue 12, 2010
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Structure of self-organized diblock copolymer solutions in partially miscible solvents

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Abstract

A diblock copolymer dissolved in a mixture of partially miscible solvents creates a self-organized microemulsion with a morphology that depends on the numerous parameters of the system. We discuss one particular case of spherical particles (containing the minority solvent) forming a hard gel with cubic structure and demonstrate using high-resolution synchrotron scattering experiments that the self-organized solution has a BCC structure. After fitting one- and two-dimensional form factors we extract from the data the one- and two-dimensional structure factors, S(q) and S(q,φ). The experimental S(q) corresponds almost quantitatively, up to the 9th order Bragg peak, to that calculated numerically for a randomly-oriented, finite-size BCC crystal. S(q,φ) contains a large number of reflections that allow the structure to be identified more exactly as a twin BCC morphology with some imperfections. Examination of the dependence of the structural parameters on polymer concentration reveals that the dilution law predicted theoretically for the center-to-center distance of the spheres is confirmed experimentally while the size of the spherical objects does not follow theoretical predictions due to chain extension with increasing concentration.

Graphical abstract: Structure of self-organized diblock copolymer solutions in partially miscible solvents

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Aug 2009, accepted on 23 Dec 2009 and first published on 02 Feb 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B917506G
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010,12, 2944-2949

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    Structure of self-organized diblock copolymer solutions in partially miscible solvents

    P. Štěpánek, Z. Tuzar, P. Kadlec, F. Nallet and N. P. da Silveira, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010, 12, 2944
    DOI: 10.1039/B917506G

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