Small-angle neutron scattering studies of dynamics and hierarchical pattern formation in binary mixtures of polymers and small molecules

Authors

  • Takeji Hashimoto

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Polymer Chemistry, Gradate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Katsura, and Hashimoto Polymer Phasing Project, Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO), Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST), Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8510, Japan
    • Department of Polymer Chemistry, Gradate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Katsura, and Hashimoto Polymer Phasing Project, Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO), Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST), Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8510, Japan
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Abstract

We present the dynamics of the composition fluctuations and pattern formation of two-component systems in both single-phase and two-phase states as studied by time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering and light scattering. Two-component systems to be covered here include not only dynamically symmetric systems, in which each component has nearly identical self-diffusion coefficients, but also dynamically asymmetric systems, in which each component has different self-diffusion coefficients. We compare the dynamic behaviors of the two systems and illuminate their important differences. The scattering studies presented for dynamically asymmetric systems highlight that stress–diffusion coupling and viscoelastic effects strongly affect the dynamics and pattern formation. For dynamically symmetric systems, we examine the universality existing in both polymer systems and small-molecule systems as well as new features concerning the time evolution of hierarchical structures during phase separation via spinodal decomposition over a wide range of wave numbers (up to four orders of magnitude). For both systems, we emphasize that polymers provide good model systems for studying the dynamics and pattern formation. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 42: 3027–3062, 2004

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