Structure, rheology and shear alignment of Pluronic block copolymer mixtures
Newby, G. E., Hamley, I. W., King, S. M., Martin, C. M. and Terrill, N. J. (2009) Structure, rheology and shear alignment of Pluronic block copolymer mixtures. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 329 (1). pp. 54-61. ISSN 0021-9797
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2008.09.054
The structure and flow behaviour of binary mixtures of Pluronic block copolymers P85 and P123 is investigated by small-angle scattering, rheometry and mobility tests. Micelle dimensions are probed by dynamic light scattering. The micelle hydrodynamic radius for the 50/50 mixture is larger than that for either P85 or P123 alone, Clue to the formation of mixed micelles with a higher association number. The phase diagram for 50/50 mixtures contains regions Of Cubic and hexagonal phases similar to those for the parent homopolymers, however the region of stability of the cubic phase is enhanced at low temperature and concentrations above 40 wt%. This is ascribed to favourable packing of the mixed micelles containing core blocks with two different chain lengths, but similar corona chain lengths. The shear flow alignment of face-centred cubic and hexagonal phases is probed by in situ small-angle X-ray or neutron scattering with simultaneous rheology. The hexagonal phase can be aligned using steady shear in a Couette geometry, however the high modulus Cubic phase cannot be aligned well in this way. This requires the application of oscillatory shear or compression. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.