Self-Assembled Smectic Phases in Rod-Coil Block Copolymers

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Science  19 Jul 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5273, pp. 343-346
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5273.343


Rod-coil block copolymers are self-assembling polymers that combine the physics of orientational ordering of rodlike polymers and the microphase separation of coil-coil block copolymers. Several new solid-state morphologies were observed in a series of anionically synthesized model poly(hexyl isocyanate-b-styrene) rod-coil diblock copolymers examined by transmission electron microscopy and selected-area electron diffraction. The rod-coils formed smectic C-like and O-like morphologies with domain sizes ranging from tens of nanometers to almost 1 micrometer. Both structural and orientational changes were found for increasing rod volume fractions. In addition, some morphologies exhibited spontaneous long-range orientational order over many tens of micrometers.