Topologically Complex Morphologies in Block Copolymer Melts

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Polymers are macromolecules built from chains of subunits. Most synthetic polymers are built from a single subunit, the monomer, and are termed homopolymers. The connection of two or more homopolymer chains into a larger macromolecule is termed a block copolymer and these can be made with multiple components connected into both linear or branched molecular architectures. Block copolymers remain a subject of significant research interest owing to the control and reproducibility of physical properties and the many fascinating nanoscale structures which can be obtained via self-assembly. The self-assembly behaviour of block copolymers originate from the tendency of the various polymer chains to undergo phase separation which is inherently constrained due to the molecular connectivity. This leads to the formation of ordered mesostructures with characteristic length scales on the order of the chain sizes, typically tens of nanometers. Here the focus is on the molecular architecture as a topological variable and how it influences the morphologies one finds in self-assembled block copolymer systems. We present a range of examples of morphologies with different and sometimes very complex mesoscale topology, i.e. patterns which emerges from the tendency of these molecules to undergo spatial phase separation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Series in Solid-State Sciences
Number of pages16
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesSpringer Series in Solid-State Sciences

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author wishes to gratefully acknowledge colleagues and mutual coauthors of the authors own research presented in this chapter, in particular Stephen T. Hyde, Liliana de Campo, Myfanwy Evans, Martin C. Pedersen, Gerd E. Schröder-Turk, Michael G. Fischer, Panagiota Fragouli, Nikos Hadjichristidis and Kell Mortensen.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature.

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