2020 Impact factor 1.890
Soft Matter and Biological Physics
Open Access
Eur. Phys. J. E 10, 37-44 (2003)
DOI: 10.1140/epje/e2003-00002-5

Control of amphiphilic block copolymer morphologies using solution conditions

A. Choucair and A. Eisenberg

Department of Chemistry, McGill University, 801 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A-2K6

adi.eisenberg@mcgill.ca

(Received 30 April 2002 and Received in final form 3 September 2002 Published online: 21 January 2003)

Abstract
It is well known that the morphology of block copolymer aggregates depends on polymer properties such as the molecular weight, the relative block length, and the chemical nature of the repeat unit. Recently, we have shown that if aggregates are allowed to self-assemble in solution, then in addition to the above factors, a high degree of control over the aggregate architecture can be achieved by adjusting the solution conditions. Factors such as the water content in the solvent mixture, the solvent nature and composition, the presence of additives (ions, surfactants, and homopolymer) and the polymer concentration were successfully employed to control the aggregate shape and size. In this paper, we review a series of studies performed in our group to show how solution properties can control the architecture of aggregates prepared from a given copolymer. The control mechanism is explained in terms of the effect of each property on the forces that govern the formation of any given morphology, namely the core-chain stretching, corona-chain repulsion and interfacial tension.

PACS
81.16.Dn - Self-assembly.
83.80.Uv - Block copolymers.
83.80.Hj - Suspensions, dispersions, pastes, slurries, colloids .

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2003