Characterization of micron-sized periodic structures in multicomponent polymer blends by ultra-small-angle neutron scattering and optical microscopy

Nisita S. Wanakule, Alisyn J. Nedoma, Megan L. Robertson, Fang Zhuangxi, Andrew Jackson, Bruce A. Garetz, Nitash P. Balsara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The thermodynamic properties of a multicomponent blend containing nearly equal volume fractions of two homopolymers, a saturated polybutadiene with 89% 1,2-addition (component A) and polyisobutylene (component B), and 1 vol % of a diblock copolymer was studied by a combination of ultra-small-angle neutron scattering (USANS) and optical microscopy. The A-C diblock copolymer, which serves as a surfactant, has an A block that is chemically identical to the A homopolymer and a C block that is a saturated polybutadiene with 62% 1,2-addition. The C block exhibits attractive interactions with component B and repulsive interactions with component A. At temperatures between room temperature and 45 °C, USANS results indicated that this blend self-assembles into a microemulsion with periodic length scales in the 0.2-4 μm range. The USANS data were in excellent agreement with the Teubner-Strey equation for scattering from microemulsions. Optical microscopy studies revealed the presence of bicontinuous microemulsions with length scales that were commensurate with those obtained by USANS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-477
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 22 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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