, Volume 285, Issue 1, pp 27-37
Date: 26 Jul 2006

Langmuir monolayer and Langmuir–Blodgett films of amphiphilic triblock copolymers with water-soluble middle block

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Langmuir monolayers and Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) film morphology of amphiphilic triblock copolymers are studied using surface pressure-area measurements and atomic force microscopy (AFM), respectively. The triblock copolymers are composed of long water-soluble poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) chains as middle block with very short poly(perfluorohexylethyl methacrylate) (PFMA) end blocks. The surface pressure-area isotherms show phase transitions in the brush regime. This phase transition is due to a rearrangement of PFMA block at the air–water interface. It becomes more significant with increasing PFMA content in the copolymer. LB films transferred at low surface pressures from the air–water interface to hydrophilic silicon substrates show surface micelles in the size range of 50–100 nm. A typical crystalline morphology of the corresponding PEO homopolymer is observed in LB films of copolymers with very short PFMA blocks, transferred in the brush region at high surface pressure. This crystallization is hindered with increasing PFMA content in the copolymer.