Effect of Chain Stiffness on the Morphology of Diblock Copolymer Melts

M Tsige and G Leuty and J Bedard, JOURNAL OF POLYMER SCIENCE PART B-POLYMER PHYSICS, 47, 2556-2565 (2009).

DOI: 10.1002/polb.21858

The authors have studied the microphase separation of symmetric diblock copolymers with variable block stiffness and different block chain lengths using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. The simulation results show that for symmetric diblock copolymers, a combination of chain length and relative stiffness between the blocks may play the major role in determining the equilibrium morphology of the system. When the variation in stiffness between blocks is small, the equilibrium morphology of the diblock system is found to be lamellar, this is also the case for systems with small chain lengths, regardless of the difference in block stiffness. However, in systems with longer chains with modest variation in stiffness between the blocks, an ordered cylindrical phase is formed in which the stiffer blocks form cylinders completely surrounded by the flexible components. (C) 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc J Polym Sci Part B, Polym Phys 47, 2556-2565, 2009

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