Block copolymer compatibilization of cocontinuous polymer blends

Jeffrey A. Galloway, Hyun K. Jeon, Joel R. Bell, Chris Macosko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


The effect of block copolymers on the cocontinuous morphology of 50/50 (w/w) polystyrene (PS)/high density polyethylene (HDPE) blends was investigated using symmetric polystyrene-polyethylene block copolymers (PS-PE) with molecular weights varying from 6 to 200 kg/mol. The coarsening rate during annealing was compared to the Doi-Ohta theory. An intermediate molecular weight PS-PE, 40 kg/mol, showed remarkable results in reducing the phase size and stabilizing the blend morphology during annealing. Mixing small amounts of 6, 100 or 200 kg/mol PS-PE in the blend did not reduce the phase size significantly, but did decrease the coarsening rate during annealing. In stabilizing the morphology, 6 kg/mol PS-PE was inferior to 100 and 200 kg/mol. The existence of an optimal molecular weight block copolymer is due to a balance between the ability of the block copolymer to reach the interface and its relative stabilization effect at the interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 6 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the RTP Company and the MRSEC Program of the National Science Foundation under Award Number DMR-0212302. The authors would like to thank Steve Hahn of Dow Chemical for supplying the polystyrene. We would also like to thank Todd Jones for the synthesis of the block copolymers and Ben Paasch for performing the image analysis.


  • Cocontinuous
  • Copolymer
  • Polystyrene-polyethylene block copolymers


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