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Effect of Interfaces on the Melting of PEO Confined in Triblock PS-b-PEO-b-PS Copolymers

Abstract : Block copolymers form nanostructures that have interesting physical properties because they combine, for a single compound, the complementary features brought by each block. However, in order to fully exploit these properties, the physical state of each kind of domain must be precisely controlled. In this work, triblock PS-b-PEO-b-PS copolymers consisting of a central poly-(ethylene oxide) (PEO) block covalently bonded to polystyrene (PS) blocks were synthesized by Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization. Their morphology was investigated by X-ray scattering and TEM experiments whereas their thermodynamic behavior was characterized by DSC. A strong decrease of both the melting temperature and the degree of crystallinity of PEO, due to its confinement between the PS domains, was observed and analyzed with a modified Gibbs Thomson equation, following the approaches used for fluids confined in porous media. The existence of an amorphous bound layer, a few nanometers thick, at the PEO/PS interface, that does not undergo any phase transition in the temperature range investigated, accounts for both the melting temperature depression and the decrease of crystallinity upon confinement. This interfacial layer may significantly affect the mechanical and transport properties of these block copolymers that find applications as solid polymer electrolytes in batteries for example. Moreover, the value obtained for the solid PEO/liquid PEO surface tension is lower than those previously published but is thermodynamically consistent with the surface tensions of polymers at the solid/vapor and liquid/vapor interfaces.
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Contributor : Didier Gigmes <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 4:41:42 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 3:43:14 AM




E. Beaudoin, T. N. T. Phan, M. Robinet, R. Denoyel, P. Davidson, et al.. Effect of Interfaces on the Melting of PEO Confined in Triblock PS-b-PEO-b-PS Copolymers. Langmuir, American Chemical Society, 2013, 29 (34), pp.10874--10880. ⟨10.1021/la401889h⟩. ⟨hal-01460436⟩



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