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Title: Single-molecule tracking study of the permeability and transverse width of individual cylindrical microdomains in solvent-swollen polystyrene- block-poly(ethylene oxide) films

Understanding the properties of solvent-swollen block copolymer (BCP) microdomains is important for better solvent-based control of microdomain morphology, orientation, and permeability. In this study, single-molecule tracking (SMT) was explored to assess the permeability and transverse width of individual cylindrical microdomains in solvent-swollen polystyrene- block-poly(ethylene oxide) (PS-b-PEO) films. PS-b-PEO films comprising shear-elongated cylindrical PEO microdomains were prepared by sandwiching its benzene or tetrahydrofuran (THF) solution between two glass substrates. In this paper, SMT measurements were performed at different drying times to investigate the effects of solvent evaporation on the microdomain properties. SMT data showed one-dimensional (1D) motions of single fluorescent molecules (sulforhodamine B) based on their diffusion within the cylindrical microdomains. Microdomain permeability and transverse width were assessed from the single-molecule diffusion coefficients (D SMT) and transverse variance of the 1D trajectories (σ δ 2), respectively. The D SMT and σ δ 2 values from individual 1D trajectories were widely distributed with no evidence of correlation on a single molecule basis, possibly because the individual microdomains in a film were swollen to different extents. On average, microdomain permeability (D) and effective radius (r) gradually decreased within the first 3 days of drying due to solvent evaporation, and changed negligibly thereafter. PS-b-PEOmore » films prepared from THF solutions exhibited larger changes in D and r as compared with those from benzene solutions due to the better swelling of the PEO microdomains by THF. Importantly, changes in D were more prominent than those in r, suggesting that the permeability of the PEO microdomains is very susceptible to the presence of solvent. Finally, these results reveal the unique capability of SMT to assess the properties of individual cylindrical microdomains in a solvent-swollen BCP film.« less
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  1. Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Physical Chemistry. B, Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces and Biophysical Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 120; Journal Issue: 47; Journal ID: ISSN 1520-6106
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: