Rheology of Ordered and Disordered Symmetric Poly(Ethylenepropylene)-Poly(ethylethylene) Diblock Copolymers

J. H. Rosedale, F. S. Bates

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A series of poly(ethylenepropylene)-poly(ethylethylene) (PEP-PEE) diblock copolymers, containing 55% by volume PEP, and the corresponding PEP and PEE homopolymers have been investigated by dynamic mechanical spectroscopy. The ordered and disordered states are characterized by qualitatively different low-frequency rheological properties in close agreement with previous reports on this subject. This paper addresses three aspects of such behavior in the vicinity of the order-disorder transition: identification of the microphase-separation transition temperature, TMST, evaluation of fluctuation effects, and characterization of the ordering kinetics. We identify TMST based on the distinct discontinuity in G’ (ω « ωc’) and G” (ω « ωc”) that accompanies the order-disorder transition; ωc’ ≅ 3ωc” « τd-1 delineates the beginning of the phase-state-dependent low-frequency regime where rd is the conventional single-chain longest relaxation time. Above and below TMST the rheological properties are complex for ω < ωc (e.g., failure of time-temperature superposition), owing to the presence of composition fluctuations. In the disordered state these effects are evident 50 °C beyond TMST. The magnitude of these fluctuation effects is underpredicted by recent theory, although the relative fluctuation contributions to the dynamic elastic and loss moduli are in quantitative agreement with theory. Quenching experiments from slightly above to just below TMST reveal a ca. 10 °C region within which the ordering process can be followed rheologically. On the basis of the temporal evolution of G’ (ω « ωc’) following such temperature quenches, we conclude that the ordering process is governed by heterogeneous (secondary) nucleation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2329-2338
Number of pages10
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1990


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