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Keywords:

  • block copolymers;
  • diblock copolymers;
  • microphase separation

Abstract

In the bulk, at equilibrium, diblock copolymers microphase separated into nanoscopic morphologies ranging from body-centered cubic arrays of spheres to hexagonally packed cylinders to alternating lamellae, depending on the volume fraction of the components. However, when the block copolymers are forced into cylindrical pores, where the diameter of the pores are only several repeat periods of the copolymer morphology or less, then commensurability of the copolymer period and the pore diameter can impose a frustration on the microdomain morphology. In addition, due to the small pore diameter, a curvature is forced on the microdomain morphology. In combination with interfacial interactions between the blocks of the copolymer and the pore walls, the preferential segregation of one component to the walls, spatial confinement and forced curvature are shown to induce transitions in the fundamental morphology of the copolymers seen in the bulk. Lamellar morphologies transformed into torus-type morphologies, cylinders are forced into helices, and body-centered cubic arrays of spheres are force into helical arrays of spheres due to these restraints. The novel morphologies, not accesssible in the bulk, open a large array of nanoscopic structures that can be used as templates and scaffolds for the fabrication of inorganic nanostructured materials. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 43: 3377–3383, 2005