Ordered Network Phases in Linear Poly(isoprene-b-styrene-b-ethylene oxide) Triblock Copolymers

Thomas H. Epps, Eric W. Cochran, Travis S. Bailey, Ryan S. Waletzko, Cordell M. Hardy, Frank S. Bates

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The equilibrium phase behavior of 43 linear poly(isoprene-b-styrene-b- ethylene oxide) (ISO) triblock copolymer melts, with molecular weights that place these materials near the order-disorder transition, is reported. Ordered phase morphologies were characterized using small-angle X-ray scattering, transmission electron microscopy, dynamic mechanical spectroscopy, and static birefringence measurements. Interpretation of these results was aided by a modeling technique that facilitates resolution of reciprocal and real-space experimental data, leading to definitive three-dimensional morphological structures. Three distinct multiply continuous network morphologies are identified across a range of compositions between 0.1 ≤ f o ≤ 0.3, situated between two-domain and three-domain lamellae, where f o represents the volume fraction of O blocks. Two cubic network phases, Q 230 (core-shell double gyroid, Ia3d space group symmetry) and Q 214 (alternating gyroid, I4 132 space group symmetry), flank an orthorhombic network phase, denoted O 70 (Fddd space group symmetry), which is positioned around the isopleth composition f s ≈ f I. These results provide a powerful strategy for designing network phases in linear ABC triblock copolymers when χ AB ≈ χ BC < χ AC, where χ represents the Flory-Huggins interaction parameter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8325-8341
Number of pages17
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2 2004

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    Epps, T. H., Cochran, E. W., Bailey, T. S., Waletzko, R. S., Hardy, C. M., & Bates, F. S. (2004). Ordered Network Phases in Linear Poly(isoprene-b-styrene-b-ethylene oxide) Triblock Copolymers. Macromolecules, 37(22), 8325-8341. https://doi.org/10.1021/ma048762s