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Effect of Particle Additives on the Texture Evolution in Block Copolymer Blends

Block copolymer/nanoparticle (BCP/NP) composites have attracted
interest because of the unique opportunities for tuning the properties
of hybrid materials arising from the control of orientation and
location of particle fillers within the copolymer matrix. However,
quiescent organized block copolymer microstructures are not
macroscopically uniform but rather exhibit ‘polycrystal-type’ texture
with grain boundary defects that disrupt the long-range periodicity.

The aim of this study has been to elucidate the effect of particle additives on the texture formation in BCP/NP blends. It could be shown that addition of compatibilized particle additives results in the reduction of the average grain size in as-cast films by about 50% as well as a reduction of grain growth kinetics during thermal annealing. These findings provide the basis for future development of functional block copolymer blend materials for use as solid state electrolyte in lithium ion battery of as bulk heterojunction material.