Alternating Gyroid in Block Polymer Blends

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5 Scopus citations


Alternating gyroid is a lower symmetry variant of the double gyroid morphology, where the left-handed and right-handed chiral networks are physically distinct. This structure is of particular interest for photonic applications owing to predictions of a complete photonic band gap subject to the requirement of a large dielectric contrast between the individual networks and sufficient optical matching between one of the networks and the matrix. We provide evidence, via self-consistent field theory (SCFT), that stoichiometric blends of double-gyroid-forming AB and BC diblock copolymers with relatively immiscible A and C blocks should form an alternating gyroid morphology with complementary three-dimensional A and C networks that have a free energy that is nearly degenerate with two phase-separated double gyroid states. Solvent casting offers the potential for trapping this binary mixture of diblock copolymers in this metastable alternating gyroid phase. Theory further predicts that the addition of a minuscule amount (<1%) of ABC triblock terpolymer will open an alternating gyroid stability window in the resulting ternary-phase diagram. The surfactant-like stabilization produced by the triblock is relatively insensitive to its exact composition provided the B-block forms a sufficiently long bridge between the A-rich and C-rich networks. This blending strategy provides significant synthetic and material processing advantages compared to prevailing methods to produce an alternating gyroid phase in block polymers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-650
Number of pages8
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 17 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported primarily by the National Science Foundation primarily through the University of Minnesota Materials Science Research and Engineering Center under Award No. DMR-2011401. We acknowledge the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) at the University of Minnesota for providing resources that contributed to the research results reported in this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

MRSEC Support

  • Primary

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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