An asymmetric poly(styrene-b-isoprene) diblock copolymer with block molecular weights of 13 000 and 71 000 g/mol, respectively, was dissolved at 1 vol % in a series of solvents with varying selectivity for styrene: dibuthyl phthalate (DBF), diethyl phthalate (DEP), and dimethyl phthalate (DMP). The degree of solvent selectivity was adjusted by mixing DBP/DEP and DEP/DMP in various proportions. With increasing solvent selectivity, the predominant micellar shape changes from spheres to cylinders to vesicles, reflecting the changing interfacial curvature. The detailed micellar morphologies were characterized by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). Recently developed form factors were used to characterize the micellar structures in detail, and a vesicle form factor was derived for this system. From the core dimensions, the packing properties, such as the interfacial area per chain and the core chain stretching, were determined. The cryo-TEM results demonstrate the suitability of the technique for these glass-forming solvents and gave micellar core dimensions in quantitative agreement with those from SAXS. The universality of the shape sequence sphere/cylinder/vesicle, well-established for aqueous solutions of surfactants and block copolymers, is thus confirmed for organic systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Chemistry