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Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics

Cover image for Vol. 52 Issue 1

1 January 2014

Volume 52, Issue 1

Pages i–iv, 1–83

  1. Cover Image

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Image
    3. Reviews
    4. Full Papers
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      Cover Image, Volume 52, Issue 1 (pages i–ii)

      Article first published online: 25 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23422

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      Phosphoric acid-doped m-polybenzimidazole membranes used in fuel cells and hydrogen pumps are prepared by conventional imbibing and sol–gel fabrication processes, as presented by Kelly A. Perry, Karren L. More, E. Andrew Payzant, Roberta A. Meisner, Bobby G. Sumpter, and Brian C. Benicewicz on page 26. Significant differences are found in membrane properties and physical structures that are supported by atomistic simulations of protonated m-polybenzimidazole chains in the presence of phosphoric acid. The image depicts the transport of protons from the anode to the cathode through the polymer–acid complex in a fuel cell. The image was created by Yan Liang (L2Molecule.com).

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      Cover Image, Volume 52, Issue 1 (pages iii–iv)

      Article first published online: 25 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23423

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      Rechargeable lithium batteries have been considered promising candidates for emerging energy storage devices. In order to improve battery performance and safety, ion conducting block copolymers (BCPs) have drawn attention as alternative electrolytes in lithium batteries due to their ability to self-assemble into ordered nanostructures. Microphaseseparated BCPs permit the simultaneous control over the ionic transport and the mechanical strength, thus providing an enticing opportunity to fabricate designer materials for polymer electrolytes. As presented by Wen-Shiue Young, Wei-Fan Kuan, and Thomas H. Epps, III on page 1, recent studies of BCP electrolytes are reviewed to provide a better understanding of ion transport in nanostructured polymer electrolytes, which promotes the development of novel lithium batteries.

  2. Reviews

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Image
    3. Reviews
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      Block copolymer electrolytes for rechargeable lithium batteries (pages 1–16)

      Wen-Shiue Young, Wei-Fan Kuan and Thomas H. Epps, III

      Article first published online: 4 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23404

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      Ion-conducting block copolymers are promising materials for rechargeable lithium batteries. The ability of block copolymers to self-assemble into ordered nanostructures offers an opportunity to design materials with combined mechanical strength and ionic conductivity for battery applications. The effects of salt doping and morphology on ionic conductivity are discussed in this review article to provide a better understanding of the ion-transport mechanism in nanostructured polymer electrolytes, giving guidance to researchers for the development of novel battery materials.

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      Stroboscopic microscopy—direct imaging of structure development and phase separation during spin-coating (pages 17–25)

      Daniel T. W. Toolan, Richard Hodgkinson and Jonathan R. Howse

      Article first published online: 20 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23410

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      Spin-coated polymer blends possess a rich variety of accessible nonequilibrium morphologies, formed through a process of phase separation and self-assembly, the complexities of which still remain poorly understood. The technique of stroboscopic microscopy has now been developed to allow direct observations of microscopic and mesoscopic morphological development during spin-coating and has afforded unequivocal information regarding morphological development. The technique so far has three modes of operation providing information on topographical, compositional, and crystal development and each are discussed within this review article.

  3. Full Papers

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Image
    3. Reviews
    4. Full Papers
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      A comparative study of phosphoric acid-doped m-PBI membranes (pages 26–35)

      Kelly A. Perry, Karren L. More, E. Andrew Payzant, Roberta A. Meisner, Bobby G. Sumpter and Brian C. Benicewicz

      Article first published online: 31 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23403

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      Phosphoric acid-doped m-polybenzimidazole membranes that are used in high temperature fuel cells and hydrogen pumps have been investigated as a function of process (sol–gel and conventional acid immersion). Sol–gel membranes were able to retain higher acid doping levels and to achieve higher ionic conductivities than conventional acid immersion. From structural studies and atomistic simulations, both membranes exhibited d-spacings of 3.5 and 4.6 Å, which was tentatively attributed to parallel ring stacking and staggered side-to-side packing, respectively.

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      Ordering poly(trimethylsilyl styrene-block-D,L-lactide) block copolymers in thin films by solvent annealing using a mixture of domain-selective solvents (pages 36–45)

      Julia D. Cushen, Lei Wan, Gunja Pandav, Indranil Mitra, Gila E. Stein, Venkat Ganesan, Ricardo Ruiz, C. Grant Willson and Christopher J. Ellison

      Article first published online: 6 NOV 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23408

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      Solvent annealing is used to impart mobility and perpendicular orientation of block copolymer domains, a critical step in making usable high-resolution features for many nanotechnology applications. In this work, solvent annealing using a mixture of two domain-selective solvents increases the domain periodicity of a lamellae-forming sample by 30% and orders a cylindrical morphology for an ordinarily disordered pure sample. Both are attributed to a decrease in effective block miscibility under the solvent annealing conditions presented.

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      Amphiphilic diblock copolymer-based multiagent photonic sensing scheme (pages 46–54)

      Loukas Athanasekos, Alexandros El Sachat, Stergios Pispas and Christos Riziotis

      Article first published online: 8 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23388

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      An amphiphilic diblock copolymer is applied as the active sensitive material to a polymer optical fiber, forming a multiagent sensing head. The copolymer, which consists of a hydrophobic and hydrophilic block, exhibits sensitivity to cyclic aromatic compounds and polar substances allowing the implementation of a robust, inexpensive, and reusable sensor for toluene, benzene, humidity, ammonia, and lysozyme. Modification of the blocks ratio in the macromolecule could result to further sensitivity customization and enhancement for specific analytes.

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      Biomimetic chitosan-treated clay–elastomer composites with water-responsive mechanically dynamic properties (pages 55–62)

      Tongfei Wu, Kevin O′Kelly and Biqiong Chen

      Article first published online: 15 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23393

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      Biomimetic thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) composites with mechanically adaptive behaviors were successfully prepared using hydrophilic and pH-sensitive chitosan-treated clay. The treated clay provided remarkable enhancements of the storage modulus and water swelling degree of TPU, which offered reversible, water-responsive, and pH-sensitive changes of mechanical behavior. This study demonstrates a facile method to control the water-absorbing behavior and produce “smart” elastomeric composites with desirable mechanical properties under dry and wet conditions.

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      Correlation of macromolecular permeability to network characteristics of multivinyl poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogels (pages 63–72)

      Eman Habib Nafea, Laura A. Poole-Warren and Penny J. Martens

      Article first published online: 29 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23397

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      Tailored permeability of hydrogels is a prerequisite for various biomedical applications including drug delivery, soft and hard tissue engineering, and bioartificial organs devices. The current work investigates the permeability performance of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) multivinyl hydrogels and correlates the permeability to the network characteristics using two common theories: rubber elasticity and equilibrium swelling. Equilibrium swelling theory is shown to be more reliable for hydrogel mesh size estimation with these types of networks.

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      Aspect ratio effects of multi-walled carbon nanotubes on electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties of polycarbonate/MWCNT composites (pages 73–83)

      Jiaxi Guo, Yanjun Liu, Ricardo Prada-Silvy, Yongqiang Tan, Samina Azad, Beate Krause, Petra Pötschke and Brian P. Grady

      Article first published online: 29 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/polb.23402

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      The aspect ratio of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) plays an important role in the electrical percolation threshold for polymer/CNT composites. Multi-walled CNTs having high aspect ratios were synthesized and melt-mixed with polycarbonate at various mixing speeds and for various times. The results show that higher aspect ratio tubes can lead to lower percolation thresholds and that with these longer tubes, reducing mixing energies can reduce the percolation threshold even more.

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