Tailor-made dimensions of diblock copolymer truncated micelles on a solid by UV irradiation

Jiun You Liou, Ya Sen Sun

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12 Scopus citations


We investigated the structural evolution of truncated micelles in ultrathin films of polystyrene-block-poly(2-vinylpyridine), PS-b-P2VP, of monolayer thickness on bare silicon substrates (SiOx/Si) upon UV irradiation in air- (UVIA) and nitrogen-rich (UVIN) environments. The structural evolution of micelles upon UV irradiation was monitored using GISAXS measurements in situ, while the surface morphology was probed using atomic force microscopy ex situ and the chemical composition using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). This work provides clear evidence for the interpretation of the relationship between the structural evolution and photochemical reactions in PS-b-P2VP truncated micelles upon UVIA and UVIN. Under UVIA treatment, photolysis and cross-linking reactions coexisted within the micelles; photolysis occurred mainly at the top of the micelles, whereas cross-linking occurred preferentially at the bottom. The shape and size of UVIA-treated truncated micelles were controlled predominantly by oxidative photolysis reactions, which depended on the concentration gradient of free radicals and oxygen along the micelle height. Because of an interplay between photolysis and photo-crosslinking, the scattering length densities (SLD) of PS and P2VP remained constant. In contrast, UVIN treatments enhanced the contrast in SLD between the PS shell and the P2VP core as cross-linking dominated over photolysis in the presence of nitrogen. The enhancement of the SLD contrast was due to the various degrees of cross-linking under UVIN for the PS and P2VP blocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7119-7129
Number of pages11
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number36
StatePublished - 29 Jul 2015


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