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Electric-Field-Induced Alignment of Block Copolymer/Nanoparticle Blends

Authors

  • Clemens Liedel,

    1. Macromolecular Materials and Surfaces, RWTH Aachen University and DWI an der RWTH, Aachen e.V., Forckenbeckstraße 50, 52056 Aachen, Germany
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  • Kerstin A. Schindler,

    1. Macromolecular Materials and Surfaces, RWTH Aachen University and DWI an der RWTH, Aachen e.V., Forckenbeckstraße 50, 52056 Aachen, Germany
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  • Mariela J. Pavan,

    1. Institute of Chemistry and The Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel
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  • Christian Lewin,

    1. Macromolecular Materials and Surfaces, RWTH Aachen University and DWI an der RWTH, Aachen e.V., Forckenbeckstraße 50, 52056 Aachen, Germany
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  • Christian W. Pester,

    1. Macromolecular Materials and Surfaces, RWTH Aachen University and DWI an der RWTH, Aachen e.V., Forckenbeckstraße 50, 52056 Aachen, Germany
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  • Markus Ruppel,

    1. Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
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  • Volker S. Urban,

    1. Biology and Soft Matter Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
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  • Roy Shenhar,

    1. Institute of Chemistry and The Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel
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  • Alexander Böker

    Corresponding author
    1. Macromolecular Materials and Surfaces, RWTH Aachen University and DWI an der RWTH, Aachen e.V., Forckenbeckstraße 50, 52056 Aachen, Germany
    2. JARA—Fundamentals of Future Information Technologies
    • Macromolecular Materials and Surfaces, RWTH Aachen University and DWI an der RWTH, Aachen e.V., Forckenbeckstraße 50, 52056 Aachen, Germany.
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Abstract

External electric fields readily align birefringent block-copolymer mesophases. In this study the effect of gold nanoparticles on the electric-field-induced alignment of a lamellae-forming polystyrene-block-poly(2-vinylpyridine) copolymer is assessed. Nanoparticles are homogeneously dispersed in the styrenic phase and promote the quantitative alignment of lamellar domains by substantially lowering the critical field strength above which alignment proceeds. The results suggest that the electric-field-assisted alignment of nanostructured block copolymer/nanoparticle composites may offer a simple way to greatly mitigate structural and orientational defects of such films under benign experimental conditions.

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