5 years ago

Manipulating the ABCs of self-assembly via low-{chi} block polymer design [Chemistry]

Manipulating the ABCs of self-assembly via low-{chi} block polymer design [Chemistry]
Mark W. Matsen, Carol M. Garland, Christopher M. Bates, Robert H. Grubbs, Russell K. W. Spencer, Simon C. Jones, Alice B. Chang, Byeongdu Lee

Block polymer self-assembly typically translates molecular chain connectivity into mesoscale structure by exploiting incompatible blocks with large interaction parameters (χij). In this article, we demonstrate that the converse approach, encoding low-χ interactions in ABC bottlebrush triblock terpolymers (χAC 0), promotes organization into a unique mixed-domain lamellar morphology, which we designate LAMP. Transmission electron microscopy indicates that LAMP exhibits ACBC domain connectivity, in contrast to conventional three-domain lamellae (LAM3) with ABCB periods. Complementary small-angle X-ray scattering experiments reveal a strongly decreasing domain spacing with increasing total molar mass. Self-consistent field theory reinforces these observations and predicts that LAMP is thermodynamically stable below a critical χAC, above which LAM3 emerges. Both experiments and theory expose close analogies to ABA′ triblock copolymer phase behavior, collectively suggesting that low-χ interactions between chemically similar or distinct blocks intimately influence self-assembly. These conclusions provide fresh opportunities for block polymer design with potential consequences spanning all self-assembling soft materials.

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.