Date: 05 Oct 2005

Nucleation and Crystallization in Diblock and Triblock Copolymers

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Crystallization of block copolymer microdomains can have a tremendous influence on the morphology, properties and applications of these materials. In this review, particular emphasis is placed on the nucleation, crystallization, thermal properties and morphology of diblock and triblock copolymers with one or two crystallizable components. The issues of the different types of nucleation processes (i.e., homogeneous nucleation and heterogeneous nucleation by different types of heterogeneities and surface nucleation) and their relation to the crystallization kinetics of the components is addressed in detail in a wide range of polymeric materials for droplet dispersions, blends and block copolymers. The case of AB double crystalline diblock copolymers is discussed in the light of recent works on biodegradable systems, while the nucleation, crystallization and morphology of more complex materials like ABC triblock copolymers with one or two crystallizable components are thoroughly reviewed.