Solution Properties of a Diblock Copolymer in a Selective Solvent of Marginal Quality. 1. Phase Diagram and Rheological Behavior

D. F. Siqueira, S. P. Nunes*, B. A. Wolf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A diblock copolymer of styrene and butyl methacrylate with a narrow molecular weight distribution [P(S-b-BMA)] containing 1200 monomeric units of S and 1250 of BMA was studied in 2-propanol (2-POH), which is a nonsolvent for the S θ slocks and a solvent (UCST) for the BMA blocks. The phase diagram of the present system is almost indistinguishable from that of 2-POH/PBMA if the molecular weight of the homopolymer is identical with that of the BMA block. The comparison of the intrinsic viscosities [η] of P(S-b-BMA) and PBMA in 2-POH and of their variation with temperature demonstrates that [η]p(s-b-BMA) reflects the presence of micelles rather than unimers. The rheological behavior of moderately concentrated solutions can be understood in terms of an overlap concentration c*, defined as (formula omited) Below c* the viscosity η changes with temperature as usual, and the liquids are Newtonian up to shear rates γ of several thousand inverse seconds,. Above c* the viscosity increases up to 1 order of magnitude as T is raised; shearthinning is observed over the entire γ range under investigation. All experimental findings can be consistently explained in terms of micelles in which the S blocks are effectively hidden in the cores and the PBMA blocks from the outer shell. The inverse temperature dependence of γ stems from the expansion of the PBMA layers resulting from the improvement of the thermodynamic quality of the solvent with increasing distance from the miscibility gap of the system; the higher the temperature becomes, the more the coronae of the micelles penetrate each other and the more their relative movement is hindered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1045-1050
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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