The Journal of Chemical Physics

The morphology of symmetric diblock copolymers as revealed by neutron reflectivity

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The specular reflectivity of neutrons has been used to characterize quantitatively the microphase separated morphology of symmetric, diblock copolymers of polystyrene (PS), and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), as a function of the total molecular weight of the copolymer where either block is perdeuterated. It is shown that the hyperbolic tangent function, as opposed to a linear or cosine-squared function, most closely describes the concentration gradient at the interface between the lamellar copolymer microdomains. The effective width of the interface is found to be independent of the molecular weight of the copolymer blocks and has a value of 50 ± 3 Å. This interface is also found to be identical to that between PS and PMMA, homopolymers. However, using measured values of the Flory-Huggins interaction parameter for PS and PMMA, current theoretical treatments cannot describe the observed widths of the interface. © 1990 American Institute of Physics.