Thermodynamics of polymer blends organized by balanced block copolymer surfactants studied by mean-field theories and scattering

Benedict J. Reynolds, Megan L. Ruegg, Nitash P. Balsara*, Clayton J. Radke, Timothy D. Shaffer, Min Y. Lin, Kenneth R. Shull, David J. Lohse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Parameters determined from binary experiments were used to predict the behavior of multicomponent A/B/A-C polymer blends, where A is saturated polybutadiene with 90% 1,2-addition (sPB90), B is polyisobutylene (PIB), and C is also saturated polybutadiene but with 63% 1,2-addition (sPB63). The polymers were chosen such that the binary interactions (A/B, A/C, and B/C) are analogous to those in oil (A)/water (B)/nonionic surfactant (A-C) systems, where A/B and A/C are unfavorable interactions (χ > 0) and B/C is a favorable interaction (χ < 0). The Flory-Huggins interaction parameters (χ AB, χ AC, and χ BC) and the statistical segment lengths (l A, l B, and l C) were all determined experimentally by fitting the random phase approximation (RPA) to small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) data from the three binary homopolymer blends. These parameters were successfully used to predict the scattering from concentration fluctuations in a homogeneous A/B/A-C blend using multicomponent RPA. These same binary parameters were also used as the only inputs to self-consistent field theory (SCFT) calculations of ordered multicomponent polymer blends. The SCFT calculations enabled quantitative interpretation of the SANS profiles from microphase separated A/B/A-C blends. The phase separation temperatures predicted by theory for the blends were within the experimental error, and the theoretical domain spacings were within 10% of the experimental values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7401-7417
Number of pages17
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 21 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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