SAXS observation of RCM1 under cyclical shear
Cooney, D.T., DeRocher, J.P., Moggridge, G.D. and Squires, A.M. (2007) SAXS observation of RCM1 under cyclical shear. Journal of Materials Science, 42 (23). pp. 9663-9670. ISSN 0022-2461
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/s10853-007-1947-5
A cylinder forming poly(styrene-b-butadiene-b-styrene) triblock copolymer melt is cyclically processed through a capillary at a high shear rate in the Cambridge Multipass Rheometer (MPR). In situ X-ray diffraction experiments enable observation of the effect of the shear on the block copolymer (BCP) nanophase orientation, both during and after processing. Temporal resolution of the X-ray exposures is increased, whilst retaining intensity, by exploiting the cyclical nature of the shear and the material's response to it; short exposures from many cycles, individually having few counts, are added together to produce well resolved X-ray patterns. Orientation of the cylinders reduces during processing, then increases during pauses between processing. The loss of orientation is attributed to the high shear rate deforming the melt faster than the structure can respond, whilst it is believed that melt relaxation, linked to the compressibility of the material, produces much lower shear rates after mechanical processing has ceased, which induces strong orientation of the nanostructure.