## Abstract

Structure self-assembling in the late stage spinodal decomposition of a polymer blend at its critical composition has been explored by laser-scanning confocal microscopy with particular emphasis on the effects of confinement (dimensionality) and preferential wetting of solid surface by one of the constituent polymers. A mixture of deuterated polybutadiene and polybutadiene (PB) with relatively narrow thickness [Formula presented] was observed in three dimensions over the entire thickness. Formation of a wetting layer was clearly observed near the glass surface, while a bicontinuous structure evolved in the middle of the specimen. Global as well as local features of the phase-separating structures were quantified by several structural parameters, e.g., characteristic length [Formula presented] structure factor [Formula presented] interfacial area per unit volume [Formula presented] probability densities of interfacial curvatures [Formula presented] etc. [Formula presented] is a phase-separation time). From the time evolution of these structural parameters, a deviation from the self-similar growth of a bicontinuous structure was found to occur at a transition time, [Formula presented] at which a scaled thickness, [Formula presented] approached unity. The breakdown of the self-similar growth was most sensitively observed by the local characteristics, i.e., [Formula presented] and [Formula presented] On the other hand, the global characteristic, [Formula presented] did not provide useful insight into the effects of dimensionality. It turned out that the bicontinuous structure, initially growing with dynamical self-similarity, eventually transformed into a “columnlike” structure (at [Formula presented] in which cylindrical PB-rich domains bridge the upper and lower PB wetting layers.

Original language | English |
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Number of pages | 1 |

Journal | Physical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics |

Volume | 67 |

Issue number | 2 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 2003 Jan 1 |

Externally published | Yes |

## ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)