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Hexagonally Perforated Layer Morphology in PS‑b‑P4VP(PDP) Supramolecules

By Ivana Vukovic, Gerrit ten Brinke and Katja Loos


Supramolecular complexes of polystyrene-block-poly(4-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P4VP) diblock copolymers and small molecules such as pentadecylphenol (PDP) have been studied extensively in recent years. In the present study, PS-b-P4VP(PDP) complexes with a minority P4VP(PDP) block are morphologically characterized focusing on the region between the lamellar and cylindrical phase. Dynamic mechanical measurements and small-angle X-ray scattering are used to follow the transitions between the ordered states upon heating/cooling. The self-assembled state at various temperatures is determined by small-angle X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy. In contrast to the opposite case of majority P4VP(PDP) blocks, where the transition from lamellar to cylindrical structures frequently occurs via the gyroid morphology, the complexes adopt the hexagonally perforated layered morphology in a broad range of compositions. Although known as a metastable phase in pure diblock copolymers, the hexagonally perforated layered phase appears as an equilibrium phase in PS-b-P4VP(PDP) complexes, being stabilized by the presence of the hydrogen-bonded PDP side chains in the minority component domains.

Year: 2012
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