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Effect of binary block-selective solvents on self-assembly of ABA triblock copolymer in dilute solution Part B Polymer physics

Yu, Haizhou, Zhu, Jintao, Jiang, Wei
Journal of polymer science 2008 v.46 no.15 pp. 1536-1545
abscisic acid, composite polymers, dioxane, methanol, nanomaterials, physics, solvents, water content
We have studied the self-assembly of the ABA triblock copolymer (P4VP-b-PS-b-P4VP) in dilute solution by using binary block-selective solvents, that is, water and methanol. The triblock copolymer was first dissolved in dioxane to form a homogeneous solution. Subsequently, a given volume of selective solvent was added slowly to the solution to induce self-assembly of the copolymer. It was found that the copolymer (P4VP₄₃-b-PS₃₆₆-b-P4VP₄₃) tended to form spherical aggregate or bilayer structure when we used methanol or water as the single selective solvent, respectively. However, the aggregates with various nanostructures were obtained by using mixtures of water and methanol as the block-selective solvents. The aggregate structure changed from sphere to rod, vesicle, and then to bilayer by changing water content in the block-selective solvent from 0 to 100%. Moreover, it was found that the vesicle size could be well controlled by changing the copolymer content in the solution.