Properties of polystyrene‐poly(methylmethacrylate) random and diblock copolymers in dilute and semidilute solutions

Michael S. Kent, Matthew Tirrell, Timothy P. Lodge

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Solution properties for random and diblock copolymers of polystyrene (PS) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) have been measured by dynamic and total intensity light scattering in solvents of differing quality. The results are compared with the corresponding properties for PS and PMMA homopolymers of similar molecular weight, in order to determine if interactions between unlike monomers are significant. The hydrodynamic radius (Rh) and diffusion second virial coefficient (kd) for the random copolymer are found to be larger than the corresponding values for the homopolymers in a solvent which is near‐theta for the two homopolymers, whereas no such effect is observed for the block copolymer. This suggests that most intrachain interactions occur a relatively short distance along the chain backbone. In a mutual good solvent Rh and kd of the random copolymer are comparable to the average of the values for the homopolymers, indicating that in a good solvent monomer/solvent interactions dominate over monomer/monomer interactions. For an isolated diblock copolymer in a mutual good solvent, there is no evidence that interactions between unlike monomers lead to additional expansion of the entire molecule, as measured by Rh, nor expansion of the individual blocks as probed by light scattering with one block optically masked. However, at low but finite concentration there is evidence (the coefficients of the binary interaction terms in the viscosity and the mutual diffusion coefficient, and the second and third virial coefficients) that a weak ordering effect may exist in block copolymer solutions, far from the conditions where microphase separation occurs. Finally, measurements of ternary polymer‐polymer‐solvent solutions show no dependence on monomer composition or monomer distribution for the tracer diffusion of probe PS‐PMMA copolymers in a PMMA/toluene matrix. This indicate that the frictional interaction is largely unaffected by interactions between unlike monomers. However, there is evidence that the thermodynamic interaction is more unfavorable between a random copolymer and the homopolymer matrix than between a diblock and the matrix. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1927-1941
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Aug 1994


  • copolymer
  • diffusion
  • light scattering
  • polymer‐polymer interactions

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