Direct observation of a diblock copolymer‐induced microemulsion at a polymer/polymer interface

Z. Xu*, K. D. Jandt, E. J. Kramer, B. D. Edgecombe, J. M.J. Fréchet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We have studied the segregation of a block copolymer of poly(d8‐styrene‐b‐2‐vinylpyridine) (dPS‐PVP) at the interface between polystyrene and a random copolymer of poly(styreneran‐4‐hydroxystyrene) (PS‐r‐PPHS). Forward recoil spectrometry (FRES) was used to measure the equilibrium excess (z*) of the dPS‐PVP chains at the interface as a function of its volume fraction in the bulk PS phase (ϕ). It was found that there is a sharp increase in z* at a critical value of ϕ. This upturn indicates the formation of a microemulsion of PS and the random copolymer PS‐r‐PPHS due to a vanishing of the interfacial tension caused by the strong adsorption of the block copolymer. Cross‐sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of the interface shows that this microemulsion starts to form at the interface by forming a deeply corrugated structure where the “wavelength” of the corrugations is of the order of 50 nm. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2351-2357
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number17
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • interfacial tension
  • polymer microemulsion
  • segregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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