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Cylinder‐to‐rod‐to‐sphere evolution of complex micelles in solution and their corresponding solvent‐induced crystallization process

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In a previous paper, we investigated the solvent‐induced crystallization of films made up of spherical micelles, which were prepared by mixing polystyrene‐block‐poly(acrylic acid) and polystyrene‐block‐poly(2‐vinylpyridine)‐block‐poly(ethylene oxide) in the neutral solvent N,N‐dimethylformamide (DMF). In the work reported in the present paper, we further studied the cylinder‐to‐rod‐to‐sphere evolution of complex micelles in solution and their corresponding solvent‐induced crystallization process. The initial morphology of the micelles in the solution was cylindrical due to a rapid growth of micelles with high unimer concentration, and spheres became the dominant form after storage at room temperature for a longer time. Regular square platelets can form after a certain period of treatment for all micelles in DMF vapor for sufficient time. However, the kinetics of their solvent‐induced crystallization process is quite different. The aggregation and subsequent nucleation of poly(ethylene oxide) blocks are determined by the distribution of crystallizable poly(ethylene oxide) blocks in the films. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: block copolymer; crystallization; micelle; morphology

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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