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Block copolymers in electric fields

: Pester, C.W.; Liedel, C.; Ruppel, M.; Böker, A.


Progress in polymer science 64 (2017), pp.182-214
ISSN: 0079-6700
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAP ()

The structural versatility of block copolymers on the nanometer scale make them highly promising candidates for many applications in soft matter nanotechnology, including optics, electronics, and acoustics. In order to harvest the full potential of nanostructured block copolymer materials and achieve widespread use outside of academia, adaptable strategies are required to control and manipulate their spatial orientation, periodicity, connectivity, and long-range order. Over the past two decades the use of an external electric field has been well established as a viable tool to control a wide variety of structural parameters of nanostructured block copolymers on both mesoscopic and nanoscopic length scales. Covering a wide range of experimental and theoretical work, this review aims to illustrate major scientific advances of the past years, focusing in particular on the underlying physics that governs the fundamental interactions between an external electric field and bl ock copolymer mesophases and its impact on phase behaviour and orientational order in bulk, solution, and thin films.