Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) was melt mixed 30:70 into polystyrene (PS) with and without symmetric P(S-b-MMA) diblock copolymers. The molecular weight of the components was varied. After 5 min of shear mixing, the PMMA was dispersed into roughly spherical, submicron particles. Particle size was measured by light scattering and transmission electron microscopy. As little as 1% copolymer led to a significant reduction in PMMA particle size, although larger amounts were needed to make the particles stable to annealing (180 °C for 15 min). The principle role of block copolymers in controlling morphology appears to be in preventing coalescence. Preventing dynamic coalescence leads to size reduction, while preventing static coalescence results in stability or compatibilization. We estimate that less than 5% of the interface needs to be covered to prevent dynamic coalescence while ∼20% is necessary to impart static stability. Mobility, critical micelle concentration, and molecular weight of the block copolymer also appear to be important. Lowering the molecular weight of the PMMA phase from 43 000 to 11 000 resulted in dramatically lower particle size (700 vs 60 nm). These variables are discussed in terms of a qualitative balance between rate of diffusion and rate of area generation during blending.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - Aug 12 1996|