3 years ago

Thickness-Dependent Order-to-Order Transitions of Bolaform-like Giant Surfactant in Thin Films

Thickness-Dependent Order-to-Order Transitions of Bolaform-like Giant Surfactant in Thin Films
Xue-Hui Dong, Edwin L. Thomas, Jing Wang, Chih-Hao Hsu, Yanfeng Xia, Kan Yue, Stephen Z. D. Cheng, Zhang Jiang
Controlling self-assembled nanostructures in thin films allows the bottom-up fabrication of ordered nanoscale patterns. Here we report the unique thickness-dependent phase behavior in thin films of a bolaform-like giant surfactant, which consists of butyl- and hydroxyl-functionalized polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (BPOSS and DPOSS) cages telechelically located at the chain ends of a polystyrene (PS) chain with 28 repeating monomers on average. In the bulk, BPOSS-PS28-DPOSS forms a double gyroid (DG) phase. Both grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy techniques are combined to elucidate the thin film structures. Interestingly, films with thicknesses thinner than 200 nm exhibit an irreversible phase transition from hexagonal perforated layer (HPL) to compressed hexagonally packed cylinders (c-HEX) at 130 °C, while films with thickness larger than 200 nm show an irreversible transition from HPL to DG at 200 °C. The thickness-controlled transition pathway suggests possibilities to obtain diverse patterns via thin film self-assembly.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.7b01598

DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.7b01598

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