Birefringence control of semicrystalline block copolymers by crystallization under confinement

Ming-Chia Li, Guang Wei Chang, Tao Lin, Rong Ming Ho*, Wei Tsung Chuang, Steven Kooi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A series of semicrystalline block copolymers (BCPs), poly(4-vinylpyridine)- block-poly(ε-caprolactone) (P4VP-PCL), with lamellar phases have been synthesized. P4VP-PCL BCP thin films with large-scale, oriented lamellar microdomains were obtainedby rimming coating process followed by oscillated shearing using a homemade shear device. Owingto the vitrified P4VP microdomains and strongly segregated microphase separation, specific PCL crystalline chain orientation can be formed from the growth of anisotropic PCL crystallites under confinement so as to uniformly increase the birefringence of the BCP thin films. The enhanced birefringence corresponds well with the increase of PCL crystallinity. Consequently, the birefringence of the P4VP-PCL thin-films can be fine-tuned by PCL crystallization. The variation on the birefringence of the BCP thin films attributed to crystallization and melting is a reversible process with respect to temperature. The BCP thin films can thus be used as temperature-stimulated materials with controllable birefringence via crystallization kinetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17640-17648
Number of pages9
Issue number22
StatePublished - 16 Nov 2010

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