Standard Article

Assembly of Block Copolymers

Soft Matter

  1. Dave J. Adams1,
  2. Paul D. Topham2

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc135

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

How to Cite

Adams, D. J. and Topham, P. D. 2012. Assembly of Block Copolymers. Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

  2. 2

    Aston University, Birmingham, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012


Block copolymers consist of two or more polymer chains covalently linked together. The different blocks can range in compatibility, both within the polymers or between the polymers and the environment. Phase separation between the blocks, as well as between the blocks and solvent, can be used to generate materials with different, yet controlled, nanostructures. In the bulk, phase separation is relatively well understood and related to the segregation strength of the two chemically distinct polymer components. In solution, block copolymers can adopt a range of self-assembled structures including spherical micelles, wormlike micelles, and vesicles depending on parameters such as the polymer composition, polymer concentration, and solvent choice. This chapter explains how such phase separation comes about in addition to how it can be related to the adopted structures.


  • microphase separation;
  • self-assembly;
  • nanostructures;
  • bulk morphologies;
  • solution morphologies;
  • block copolymers;
  • amphiphiles;
  • phase diagram;
  • vesicles;
  • micelles;
  • lamellae;
  • gyroid;
  • spheres;
  • cylinders