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Title: Ordering and Grain Growth in Charged Block Copolymer Bulk Films: A Comparison of Solvent-Related Processes

While prior efforts have demonstrated that the morphologies of block copolymer (BC) bulk films can be controlled through judicious chemical design and thermal annealing, recent interest has focused on regulating the orientation of BC nanostructures and minimizing defects. Thermal processes developed to achieve this purpose for nonpolar BCs are not, however, suitable for orienting microphase-ordered BCs composed of at least one block with charged moieties that can form thermally stable ionic clusters. To overcome this challenge, we have previously applied solvent-vapor (SV) annealing to block ionomer (BI) bulk films composed of midblock-sulfonated pentablock copolymers and established that this approach yields highly ordered morphologies that display evidence of improved in-plane orientation. Here, we employ small-angle X-ray scattering to compare the effectiveness of three solvent-related processes-SV annealing, SV permeation, and SV sorption-on BI ordering and grain growth, and offer explanations for observed differences on the basis of thermodynamic- and transport-related considerations. As a result, differences in the experimental design of these solvent-related processes are found to affect nanostructural development, as evidenced by the extent of in-plane grain growth.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)
  2. Bucknell Univ., Lewisburg, PA (United States)
  3. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  4. North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Humboldt-Univ. zu Berlin, Berlin (Germany)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Advanced Materials Interfaces
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2196-7350
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Nonwovens Institute (NWI); Freudenberg Group - Performance Materials; German Research Foundation (DFG); Bucknell University; USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; block ionomers; lamellar orientation; solvent permeation; solvent-vapor annealing; thermoplastic elastomers
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1419992