Controlling domain orientation of liquid crystalline block copolymer in thin films through tuning mesogenic chemical structures

He Lou Xie, Xiao Li, Jiaxing Ren, Camille Bishop, Christopher G. Arges, Paul F. Nealey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Controlling the macroscopic orientation of nanoscale periodic structures of amphiphilic liquid crystalline block copolymers (LC BCPs) is important to a variety of technical applications (e.g., lithium conducting polymer electrolytes). To study LC BCP domain orientation, a series of LC BCPs containing a poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) block as a conventional hydrophilic coil block and LC blocks containing azobenzene mesogens is designed and synthesized. LC ordering in thin films of the BCP leads to the formation of highly ordered, microphase-separated nanostructures, with hexagonally arranged PEO cylinders. Substitution on the tail of the azobenzene mesogen is shown to control the orientation of the PEO cylinders. When the substitution on the mesogenic tails is an alkyl chain, the PEO cylinders have a perpendicular orientation to the substrate surface, provided the thin film is above a critical thickness value. In contrast, when the substitution on the mesogenic tails has an ether group the PEO cylinders assemble parallel to the substrate surface regardless of the film thickness value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-541
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Volume55
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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