The phase transition behaviour of polyethylene-b-poly(ethylene oxide) (PE-b-PEO) diblock copolymer with relatively short chain lengths has been studied on the basis of temperature dependent infrared and Raman spectral measurements and synchrotron WAXD/SAXS simultaneous measurements, from which the concrete structural changes were deduced successfully from the various levels of molecular chain conformation, chain packing mode and higher-order structure. The higher-order structure has been found to transform between lamella, perforated lamella, gyroid, cylinder and sphere structures. The inner structural changes occurring in the polyethylene and poly(ethylene oxide) parts have been related with these morphological changes. The morphological transition from lamella to gyroid occurs with keeping the crystalline state of polyethylene parts. This apparently curious transition can be interpreted reasonably by assuming the thermally-activated chain motion in the crystal lattice, which may play an important role as a trigger to induce the morphological change from lamella to gyroid. This idea was supported by the measurement of half-width of Raman anti-symmetric CH2 stretching band sensitive to the thermal mobility of alkyl chains.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)