Block copolymer self-assembly in internal and external fields
AbstractBlock copolymers can self-assemble in a big variety of crystal-like structures on the mesoscale. The equilibrium structure depends on their composition and tolopology, andmore possibilities are given if different block copolymers are blended with each other, or different blocks of the same block copolymer are functionalised with attractive interacting groups.
Also non-equilibrium structures can be easily obtained by trapping block copolymer solutions in a metastable state, which can happen by fast evaporation of a solvent and quenching the block copolymer solution with a non-solvent. Also force fields, like mechanical shear or electric fields can affect the self-assembly. These situations will be discussed on the example of the formation of membranes from tailor-made block copolymers.