Curving and Frustrating Flatland

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Science  01 Oct 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5693, pp. 76
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100090

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Two polymer chains that occupy equal volumes when covalently linked together at one end self-assemble into an alternating lamellar morphology that has a characteristic period dictated by the molecular weight. When such copolymers are confined within alumina membranes that have cylindrical pores with diameters comparable to the repeat period, the interaction of the blocks with the confining walls and the imposed curvature induces a morphological transformation to relieve the constraints. Here, we show a lamella-to-toroid transition, captured through the dissolution of the surrounding membrane.

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