Physical and chemical characterizations of block copolymer membranes
Amphiphilic macromolecules are known to spontaneously self-assemble into several microphases depending on numerous factors. However, physical and chemical mesoscale properties that arise from fundamental molecular parameters remain largely unknown. With these questions in mind, a systematic study of one class of diblock copolymers was undertaken to determine relationships governing physical properties. Techniques such as micropipette manipulation and electroporation were used to probe phenomena at the single vesicle level. The results highlight the important role of the interfacial nature of these assemblies, as well as static and dynamic effects arising from molecular weight. These soft structures can be further stabilized, providing means to extend and control properties dramatically. The results are intended to aid in the rational design of self-assemblies.