Dynamics of interacting edge defects in copolymer lamellae
Department of Physics & Astronomy and the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research, McMaster University, ON, Hamilton, Canada
2 School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, UK
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Accepted: 15 November 2011
Published online: 21 December 2011
It is known that terraces at the air-polymer interface of lamella-forming diblock copolymers do not make discontinuous jumps in height. Despite the underlying discretized structure, the height profiles are smoothly varying. The width of a transition region of a terrace edge in isolation is typically several hundreds of nanometres, resulting from a balance between surface tension, chain stretching penalties, and the enthalpy of mixing. What is less well known in these systems is what happens when two transition regions interact with one another. In this study, we investigate the dynamics of the interactions between copolymer lamellar edges. We find that the data can be well described by a model that assumes a repulsion between adjacent edges. While the model is simplistic, and does not include molecular level details, its agreement with the data suggests that some of the the underlying assumptions provide insight into the complex interplay between defects.
© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2011