Selective molecular annealing:in situ small angle X-ray scattering study of microwave-assisted annealing of block copolymers


Microwave annealing has emerged as an alternative to traditional thermal annealing approaches for optimising block copolymer self-assembly. A novel sample environment enabling small angle X-ray scattering to be performed in situ during microwave annealing is demonstrated, which has enabled, for the first time, the direct study of the effects of microwave annealing upon the self-assembly behavior of a model, commercial triblock copolymer system [polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene-co-butylene)-block-polystyrene]. Results show that the block copolymer is a poor microwave absorber, resulting in no change in the block copolymer morphology upon application of microwave energy. The block copolymer species may only indirectly interact with the microwave energy when a small molecule microwave-interactive species [diethylene glycol dibenzoate (DEGDB)] is incorporated directly into the polymer matrix. Then significant morphological development is observed at DEGDB loadings ≥6 wt%. Through spatial localisation of the microwave-interactive species, we demonstrate targeted annealing of specific regions of a multi-component system, opening routes for the development of "smart" manufacturing methodologies.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR)
Uncontrolled Keywords: General Physics and Astronomy,Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
Publication ISSN: 1463-9084
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2024 07:33
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2017 14:15
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2017-08-21
Published Online Date: 2017-07-10
Accepted Date: 2017-07-10
Authors: Toolan, Daniel T.W.
Adlington, Kevin
Isakova, Anna
Kalamiotis, Alexis
Mokarian-Tabari, Parvaneh
Dimitrakis, Georgios
Dodds, Christopher
Arnold, Thomas
Terrill, Nick J.
Bras, Wim
Hermida Merino, Daniel
Topham, Paul D. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4152-6976)
Irvine, Derek J.
Howse, Jonathan R.



Version: Accepted Version

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