Effect of sequence distribution on copolymer interfacial activity

Michelle D. Lefebvre, Christine M. Dettmer, Rachel L. McSwain, Chen Xu, Jonathan R. Davila, Russell J. Composto, SonBinh Nguyen, Kenneth R Shull*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Interfacial segregation of diblock, gradient, and random copolymers was measured using forward recoil spectrometry. The polymers were synthesized by a ring-opening metathesis polymerization, allowing a high degree of control over the sequence distribution. The norbornene-based monomers have reactivity ratios close to unity, which makes them ideal for facile tailoring of different gradient copolymer profiles. The copolymers form a good weakly segregating model system for which we can obtain an estimate of the interaction parameter χ. Mean-field theory was used to describe the interfacial segregation results and to relate the measured quantities to the detailed molecular structure of the interface. The diblock copolymer forms a monolayer at the interface and significantly reduces the interfacial tension, while the random copolymer forms an interfacial wetting layer. The gradient copolymer exhibits intermediate behavior, forming a monolayer with a larger interfacial width than that of the diblock copolymer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10494-10502
Number of pages9
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 13 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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