Conformationally asymmetric block copolymers

M. W. Matsen, F. S. Bates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


The standard parameters controlling AB diblock copolymer phase behavior are χN and fA, where χ is an A-B segment interaction parameter, N is the overall degree of polymerization, and fA is the volume fraction of the A block. Recently, it has been recognized that the ratio of the A and B statistical segment lengths aA/aB also represents another important parameter. Here, we theoretically examine the effects of this latter parameter on the phase behavior using the standard Gaussian chain model. Calculations are performed using both self-consistent field theory (SCFT) and strong segregation theory (SST). The ratio aA/aB is shown to have strong effects on order-order phase boundaries. Furthermore, it significantly affects the relative stability of the complex phases. In particular, it enhances the metastability of the perforated lamellar phase and may actually cause it to become an equilibrium structure. We also illustrate that varying aAlaB produces large changes in the relative domain spacings at order-order phase boundaries, which could strongly affect the kinetics of these transitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-952
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 30 1997


  • Block copolymers
  • Complex phases
  • Conformational asymmetry
  • Microstructures
  • Self-consistent field theory


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