Self-assembly morphology effects on the crystallization of semicrystalline block copolymer thin film

Yuhan Wei; Caiyuan Pan; Binyao Li; Yanchun Han
March 2007
Journal of Chemical Physics;3/14/2007, Vol. 126 Issue 10, p104902
Academic Journal
Self-assembly morphology effects on the crystalline behavior of asymmetric semicrystalline block copolymer polystyrene-block-poly(L-lactic acid) thin film were investigated. Firstly, a series of distinctive self-assembly aggregates, from spherical to ellipsoid and rhombic lamellar micelles (two different kinds of rhombic micelles, defined as rhomb 1 and rhomb 2) was prepared by means of promoting the solvent selectivity. Then, the effects of these self-assembly aggregates on crystallization at the early stage of film evolution were investigated by in situ hot stage atomic force microscopy. Heterogeneous nucleation initiated from the spherical micelles and dendrites with flat on crystals appeared with increasing temperature. At high temperature, protruding structures were observed due to the thickening of the flat-on crystals and finally more thermodynamically stable crystallization formed. Annealing the rhombic lamellar micelles resulted in different phenomena. Turtle-shell-like crystalline structure initiated from the periphery of the rhombic micelle 1 and spread over the whole film surface in the presence of mostly noncrystalline domain interior. Erosion and small hole appeared at the surface of the rhombic lamellar micelle 2; no crystallization like that in rhomb 1 occurred. It indicated that the chain-folding degree was different in these two micelles, which resulted in different annealing behaviors.


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