Block Copolymer Nanocomposites in Electric Fields: Kinetics of Alignment
We investigate the kinetics of block copolymer/nanoparticle composite alignment in an electric field using in situ transmission small-angle X-ray scattering. As a model system, we employ a lamellae forming polystyrene-block-poly(2-vinyl pyridine) block copolymer with different contents of gold nanoparticles in thick films under solvent vapor annealing. While the alignment improves with increasing nanoparticle fraction, the kinetics slows down. This is explained by changes in the degree of phase separation and viscosity. Our findings provide extended insights into the basics of nanocomposite alignment.