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Theoretical Approaches to Amphiphilic Polymer Co-networks

We review theoretical and simulation approaches to amphiphilic polymer co-networks, focussing on microphase separation and order–disorder transitions (ODTs). After a brief recapitulation of coarse-grained modelling approaches for polymers and theoretical descriptions of ODTs in copolymer melts, we consider two classes of polymer co-networks: first, randomly crosslinked networks that are prepared from mixed homopolymer blends or copolymer melts by permanently fixing a random set of monomer–monomer contacts and, second, regular co-networks of end-linked block copolymers. We discuss phenomenological theories as well as molecular approaches based on the Gaussian chain model. On a local scale, crosslinked polymer co-networks self-organise into structures similar to those formed by copolymer melts. However, depending on the type of crosslinking, the type of ordering (long range versus short range) and the order of transitions can change significantly upon crosslinking. Moreover, polymer co-networks are predicted to respond to applied stress in a very peculiar manner, which could be exploited to design novel materials.

Publication details

Print publication date
30 Apr 2020
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN
From the book series:
Polymer Chemistry Series