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Solvent-Induced Morphology of the Binary Mixture of Diblock Copolymer in Thin Film: The Block Length and Composition Dependence of Morphology

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posted on 05.03.2009, 00:00 authored by Rui Guo, Haiying Huang, Binyang Du, Tianbai He
A series of binary SB blend samples with various overall volume fraction of PS (ΦPS) and different discrete distribution of the block length (denoted as dPS or dPB) were prepared by mixing various asymmetric poly(styrene)-block-poly(butadiene) (SB) block copolymers with a symmetric SB block copolymer. The influences of the external solvent field, composition, and the block length distribution on the morphologies of the blends in the thin films were investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The experimental results revealed that after solvent annealing, the interface of the blend thin films depended mainly on the cooperative effects of the annealing solvent and the inherently interfacial curvature of the blends. Upon exposure to the saturated vapor of cyclohexane, which has preferential affinity for the PB block, a “threshold” of ΦPS (approximate 0.635∼0.707) was found. Below such threshold, the influence of the annealing solvent played an important role on the interfacial curvature of the blend thin film. The morphologies of the thin films and the long-range order of the structures were related to the value of dPS, regardless of the change of dPB.