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Equilibrium behavior of symmetric ABA triblock copolymer melts

Matsen, M. W. and Thompson, R. B. (1999) Equilibrium behavior of symmetric ABA triblock copolymer melts. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 111 (15). 7139. ISSN 0021-9606

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1063/1.480006


Melts of ABA triblock copolymer molecules with identical end blocks are examined using self-consistent field theory (SCFT). Phase diagrams are calculated and compared with those of homologous AB diblock copolymers formed by snipping the triblocks in half. This creates additional end segments which decreases the degree of segregation. Consequently, triblock melts remain ordered to higher temperatures than their diblock counterparts. We also find that middle-block domains are easier to stretch than end-block domains. As a result, domain spacings are slightly larger, the complex phase regions are shifted towards smaller A-segment compositions, and the perforated-lamellar phase becomes more metastable in triblock melts as compared to diblock melts. Although triblock and diblock melts exhibit very similar phase behavior, their mechanical properties can differ substantially due to triblock copolymers that bridge between otherwise disconnected A domains. We evaluate the bridging fraction for lamellar, cylindrical, and spherical morphologies to be about 40%–45%, 60%–65%, and 75%–80%, respectively. These fractions only depend weakly on the degree of segregation and the copolymer composition.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences
ID Code:63616
Publisher:American Institute of Physics


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