Synthesis of novel PB-b-PS-b-PEO and PE-b-PS-b-PEO triblock terpolymers, their morphological characterization and crystallization kinetics of the corresponding crystallizable blocks
The main motivation of the present work was to study the competition between microphase separation and crystallization in crystallizable block copolymers, as well as to contribute to the understanding of the crystallization process in polymers by following the crystallization kinetics in a confined microphase. Sequential living anionic polymerization has been employed to synthesize novel polybutadiene-block-polystyrene-blockpoly(ethylene oxide) (PB-b-PS-b-PEO) linear triblock terpolymers where the PEO is able to crystallize. The further catalytic hydrogenation lead to polyethylene-blockpolystyrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) (PE-b-PS-b-PEO), a triblock terpolymer with two crystallizable blocks. The morphology in bulk of the different triblock terpolymer compositions was studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Thin film morphology was investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Crystallization kinetics of both PEO and PE blocks was studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) using different thermal protocols and the data were fitted to the Avrami equation.
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