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Grazing Incidence Small-Angle X-ray Scattering Studies of the Thin Film Morphologies of Miktoarm Crystalline Star Polymers

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The nanoscale thin film morphologies of a series of interesting miktoarm star polymers composed of a highly rigid and crystallizable poly(n-hexyl isocyanate) (PHIC) arm and one to three flexible and crystallizable poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) arms were investigated using synchrotron grazing incidence X-ray scattering methods. Nanoscale thin films of a PHIC and a PCL homopolymer were also characterized for comparison. The PCL homopolymer and star polymers formed horizontally oriented lamellar structures in toluene-annealed films. The horizontal lamellar structures formed in the miktoarm star polymer films were quite different from those observed in common flexible block copolymer specimens. Interestingly, the structural parameters associated with the star polymer films were significantly influenced by the exceptional rigidity of the PHIC arm chain and by the number and length of the PCL arms. This study demonstrated that a miktoarm star polymer system consisting of rigid and crystallizable arms could form thin films with a morphology that is suitable for specific target applications.
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Keywords: CRYSTALLIZATION; LAMELLAR NANOSTRUCTURES; MIKTOARM STAR POLYMER THIN FILMS; PHASE-SEPARATION; SOLVENT-ANNEALING; SYNCHROTRON GRAZING INCIDENCE X-RAY SCATTERING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 November 2014

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