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Role of Chain Microstructure and Branching on Solution and Thin Film Phase Behavior

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Technical Report,01 Sep 2011,31 Aug 2015

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University of Tennessee at Knoxville Knoxville United States

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This study has focused on elucidating links between topological design of block copolymers and chain stiffness, their assembly in solutionand organization in thin films. Novel aspects include the ability to tune chain rigidity without altering chemical composition and precision control of copolymer architecture. Although difficulties in polymer synthesis persisted throughout the project, the phase behavior of topologically complex and semiflexible block copolymers have been examined in solution and thin. Outcomes from those studies providekey insights into how topological and microstructural variations affect assembly and properties. In addition, studies of the solution phase behavior of highly branched star-like copolymers revealed a new and unusual phase segregated morphology, which was linked to the unusual solution assembly behavior of those topologically-constrained stars. Finally, the synthesis of a new class of polymers based on benzofulvene monomer was advanced, a variety of additives were tested for their ability to impart microstructural control, and impacts on macromolecular and thermomechanical properties investigated.

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