Micellar ordering in concentrated solutions of Di- and triblock copolymers in a slightly selective solvent

I. W. Hamley, J. P A Fairclough, A. J. Ryan, C. Y. Ryu, T. P. Lodge, A. J. Gleeson, J. S. Pedersen

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66 Scopus citations


Micellar ordering in semidilute solutions of polystyrene-polyisoprene diblock and triblock copolymers in the slightly selective solvent di-n-butyl phthalate has been studied using rheology and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Ordering as a function of temperature has been investigated for a range of polymer concentrations 0.1 ≤ φ ≤ 0.4. For φ < 0.2, the rheological response is liquidlike and SAXS shows that there is no intermicellar order in the liquid; however, the solution viscosity shows a strong maximum near 50 °C. Above a crossover concentration φ ≈ 0.2, ordering of micelles is indicated by the presence of a sharp structure factor peak. The ordered micellar structure, identified as hexagonal for 0.2 ≤ φ ≤ 0.3 and lamellar for φ ≥ 0.3, persists up to an order-disorder transition at T ≈ 40 °C for the diblock and T ≈ 50 °C for the triblock solutions studied. The rheological characteristics of the ordered solutions are reminiscent of those found in ordered block copolymer melts. At higher temperatures, for example approximately 20-30 °C above the ODT for the φ = 0.2 solutions, indications of chain aggregation disappear from the rheological properties; however, some evidence of chain association persists to still higher temperatures in the SAXS profiles. The domain spacing, d, in the ordered solutions obtained from the principal structure factor peak position, shows a crossover at φ ≈ 0.2, in agreement with rheology. At high concentrations, d scales as d ∼ φ-1/3, suggesting a three-dimensional contraction of the microstructure, and thus micelles of finite length. This concentration dependence is opposite to that previously observed for ordered block copolymer solutions in neutral solvents, due to the solvent selectivity. The results are gathered in a rather rich phase diagram for this system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1188-1196
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 24 1998


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