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Birefringence analysis of the effect of electric fields on the order-disorder transition temperature of lamellae forming block copolymers

: Kathrein, C.C.; Kipnusu, W.K.; Kremer, F.; Böker, A.


Macromolecules 48 (2015), Nr.10, S.3354-3359
ISSN: 0024-9297
ISSN: 1520-5835
Fraunhofer IAP ()

A detailed birefringence analysis of the effect of strong dc electric fields on the order–disorder transition temperature (TODT) of lamella forming block copolymers is reported. The setup presented here enabled the measurement of the TODT with high temperature resolution while the birefringence measurements were nondestructive and straightforward compared to alternative methods. A downward shift in the transition temperature was found for all samples upon application of the electric field. The data indicate that the dominating parameter that evokes the mixing of block copolymers when exposed to electric fields is the difference in dielectric permittivity Δϵ between the block copolymer constituents. The extent to which the TODT is shifted is furthermore influenced by the degree of polymerization N. Shifts in the transition temperature of up to 7 °C were found upon application of an electric field of 5 kV/mm.