Ordering on multiple lengthscales in a series of side group liquid crystal block copolymers containing a cholesteryl-based mesogen

I W Hamley, V Castelletto, P Parras, Z B Lu, C T Imrie, T Itoh

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61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hierarchical ordering in a side group liquid crystal block copolymer is investigated by differential scanning calorimetry, polarized optical microscopy, small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering (SAXS and SANS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). A series of block copolymers with a range of compositions was prepared by atom transfer radical polymerization, comprising a polystyrene block and a poly(methyl methacrylate) block bearing chiral cholesteryl mesogens. Smectic ordering is observed as well as microphase separation of the block copolymer. Lamellar structures were observed for far larger volume fractions than for coil-coil copolymers (up to a volume fraction of liquid crystal block, f(LC) = 0.8). A sample with f(LC) = 0.86 exhibited a hexagonal-packed cylinder morphology, as confirmed by SAXS and TEM. The matrix comprised the liquid crystal block, with the mesogens forming smectic layers. For the liquid crystal homopolymer and samples with high f(LC), a smectic-smectic phase transition was observed below the clearing point. At low temperature, the smectic phase comprises coexisting domains with monolayer S-A,S-1 coexisting with interdigitated S-A,S-d domains. At high temperature a SA,1 phase is observed. This is the only structure observed for samples with lower f(LC). These unprecedented results point to the influence of block copolymer microphase separation on the smectic ordering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics
Volume1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • COIL DIBLOCK COPOLYMERS
  • AMORPHOUS A-BLOCK
  • PHASE-BEHAVIOR
  • THERMAL-PROPERTIES
  • MORPHOLOGICAL STRUCTURE
  • SPACER LENGTH
  • LC BEHAVIOR
  • METHACRYLATE
  • POLYMER

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