We investigated structural details and temperature-induced structural changes of an amorphous-crystalline brush diblock copolymer, poly(3-((6-((7-(9H-carbazol-9-yl)heptanoyl)oxy)hexyl)thio)propyl glycidyl ether)60-b-poly(glycidyl 12-((3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10,10-heptadecafluorodecyl)oxy)-12-oxododecanoate)20 (PGK60-PGF20) in nanoscale thin films using synchrotron grazing incidence X-ray scattering (GIXS) and X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS). Interestingly, the diblock copolymer was found to form a mixture of two different hexagonal cylinder structures (HEX1 and HEX2) where the PGF cylinders were aligned in the film plane. HEX1 was composed of PGF cylinders with higher population of crystals while HEX2 consisted of PGF cylinders with lower population of crystals. Surprisingly, the PGF block chains favorably self-assembled because of strong lateral interactions in the bristles, forming vertical multibilayer structure with partial interdigitation even in the highly confined cylindrical geometry. In heating run up to 340 K, some fraction of HEX2 was transformed to HEX1 via cold crystallization. In contrast, HEX1 was transformed to HEX2 above 340 K because of melting of the PGF crystals. The XPCS analysis found that the HEX structural changes associated with the cold crystallization in the PGF cylinder domains took place with relatively fast dynamics. The HEX structural changes associated with melting of the PGF crystals in the cylinder domains occurred with relatively slow dynamics; this unusual dynamics of structural changes might be attributed to a high energy melting process of PGF crystals against strong lateral interactions of the bristles.
- Brush diblock copolymer
- Grazing incidence X-ray scattering
- Structural changes
- X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy