Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics

Cover image for Vol. 49 Issue 17

1 September 2011

Volume 49, Issue 17

Pages i–iv, 1203–1275

  1. Cover Image

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Image
    3. Reviews
    4. Communications
    5. Full Papers
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      Cover Image, Volume 49, Issue 17 (pages i–ii)

      Article first published online: 27 JUL 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.22333

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      Superhydrophobicity is where roughness, or surface topography, modifies the surface interaction with a liquid to enhance the apparent hydrophobicity relative to a smooth surface. Droplets on such surfaces can sometimes move extremely easily, leaving the surface dry as shown in the cover image where a fibrous polymer repels a stream of water. As research into superhydrophobic surfaces reaches a degree of maturity where approaches are numerous and theoretical understanding is well-formed, focus shifts towards more practical concerns for individual applications and the role of polymers has come to the fore. On page 1203 of this issue, Neil Shirtcliffe, Glen McHale and Michael Newton review progress in this field and consider how polymers allow research to move out of the laboratory and add value to superhydrophobicity by providing suitable properties.

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      Inside Cover, Volume 49, Issue 17 (pages iii–iv)

      Article first published online: 27 JUL 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.22334

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      The low electronic mobility of blends of polymer and fullerene derivatives, as are often used in polymeric photoactive layers in devices such as solar cells, can be improved by incorporating carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as secondary acceptors. On page 1269 of this issue, Michael Hickner and colleagues use electropolymerization of thiophene monomers into a CNT mat to create dense polythiophene/CNT composites as shown in the figure. By using the electropolymerization technique they are able to orient the thiophene rings parallel to the electrode surface and achieve charge transfer between the polymer and CNT phases, leading to superior charge transport properties in the CNT/polymer composite compared to the pure polymer film.

  2. Reviews

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Image
    3. Reviews
    4. Communications
    5. Full Papers
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      The superhydrophobicity of polymer surfaces: Recent developments (pages 1203–1217)

      Neil J. Shirtcliffe, Glen McHale and Michael I. Newton

      Article first published online: 7 JUN 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.22286

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      Superhydrophobicity is undergoing a transition from a new and exciting research area to application. Research has moved from generating surfaces and understanding, to planning complex structures and structure–liquid interactions. It is often no longer enough to just have a superhydrophobic or superoleophobic surface — it must now also fulfil other practical performance requirements. This review considers how polymers allow research to move out of the laboratory and add value to superhydrophobicity by providing those extra properties.

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      Structure and morphology control in thin films of regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (pages 1218–1233)

      Martin Brinkmann

      Article first published online: 11 JUL 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.22310

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      Conjugated polymers such as regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) are widely used in plastic electronics to fabricate organic solar cells and organic field effect transistors. Establishing the correlations between processing conditions, structure, and transport properties is essential to improve the device performances. This review focuses on the effective means developed in the recent literature to achieve the growth control and nucleation in P3HT thin films, especially by using epitaxial orientation.

  3. Communications

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Image
    3. Reviews
    4. Communications
    5. Full Papers
    1. Supercapacitive energy storage based on ion-conducting channels in hydrophilized organic network (pages 1234–1240)

      Xian Ning Xie, Junzhong Wang, Kian Keat Lee and Kian Ping Loh

      Article first published online: 23 JUN 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.22295

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      Supercapacitor research is currently focused on the search for new electrode materials with large surface areas or porosities, which increases the amount of energy storable in the electrode materials. A hydrophilized polymer network is reported here as a new supercapacitor electrode material. The network allows for high capacitance of up to 400 F/g due to the formation of hydrated ionic channels. The network is also extremely stable in an electrolyte environment because of the cross-linking of the hydrophilizing groups.

    2. High modulus ratio shape-memory polymers achieved by combining hydrogen bonding with controlled crosslinking (pages 1241–1245)

      Yi Pan, Tuo Liu, Jing Li, Zhaohui Zheng, Xiaobin Ding and Yuxing Peng

      Article first published online: 22 JUL 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.22317

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      Shape-memory polymers can be deformed from one shape to another in response to a stimulus, offering tremendous potential in biotechnology, sensors, actuator systems and textiles. However, they are limited in these applications by poor mechanical properties, low recovery stress, slow recovery speed, and short cycle life. Here, high modulus ratio poly(methyl acrylate)-co-(acrylic acid) networks are designed and synthesized by combining hydrogen bonding with controlled cross-linking, and exhibit an extraordinary combination of rapid and full shape recovery.

  4. Full Papers

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Image
    3. Reviews
    4. Communications
    5. Full Papers
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      Effect of void structure on the toughness of double network hydrogels (pages 1246–1254)

      Tasuku Nakajima, Hidemitsu Furukawa, Yoshimi Tanaka, Takayuki Kurokawa and Jian Ping Gong

      Article first published online: 28 JUN 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.22293

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      Double network (DN) hydrogels have the highest fracture toughness of all gels. Here, void structure is introduced to DN hydrogels to increase their toughness further. The gels' tearing energy significantly increases when the volume fraction of void is 1–3 vol %, and the void diameter is much larger than the Flory radius of the second component (polyacrylamide; PAAm) chains. Mechanical tests and dynamic light scattering results imply that the absence of the load-bearing PAAm structure inside the voids is important for toughening.

    2. Liquid phase demixing in ferroelectric/semiconducting polymer blends: An experimental and theoretical study (pages 1255–1262)

      Jasper J. Michels, Albert J. J. M. van Breemen, Khurram Usman and Gerwin H. Gelinck

      Article first published online: 8 JUN 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.22289

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      A detailed understanding of the microphase structure evolution is of paramount importance to optimize processing and performances of organic electronics devices. The combination of experimental characterization and modeling presented here provides a powerful tool for the tuning of the processing conditions to achieve optimal performances in the case of solution processed organic thin films containing active blend layers of which the phase morphology substantially relies on liquid phase demixing.

    3. Electrospun fibers of functional nanocomposites composed of single-walled carbon nanotubes, fullerene derivatives, and poly(3-hexylthiophene) (pages 1263–1268)

      Céline Bounioux, Racheli Itzhak, Ron Avrahami, Eyal Zussman, Joseph Frey, Eugene A. Katz and Rachel Yerushalmi-Rozen

      Article first published online: 27 MAY 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.22281

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      Electrospinning of fibers composed of blends of poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), the fullerene derivative phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM), and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) is reported. The use of a tailor-made block-copolymer to mediate the colloidal and interfacial interactions enables the spinning of centimeters-long, uniform microfibers that show concentration-dependent quenching of the photoluminescence. Structural characterization indicates a high degree of ordering and alignment of the polymer chains and the SWNT within the fiber.

    4. Electro-optical properties of electropolymerized poly(3-hexylthiophene)/carbon nanotube composite thin films (pages 1269–1275)

      Romesh J. Patel, Timothy B. Tighe, Ilia N. Ivanov and Michael A. Hickner

      Article first published online: 7 JUL 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.22307

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      Poly(thiophene)/carbon nanotube (CNT) blends could offer a lightweight alternative to inorganic semiconductors. Dense poly(thiophene)/CNT composites were fabricated by electropolymerization of thiophene monomer into a CNT mat. This polymer electrodeposition process oriented the thiophene rings parallel to the electrode surface as confirmed by grazing angle incidence X-ray diffraction. Charge transfer between the polymer and CNT phases was suggested by photoluminescence quenching upon addition of nanotubes to the film and the superior charge transport properties of the composites.

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