Structural studies on physical gels, based on a triblock copolymer and solvent selective for its midblocks, are presented. Gel formation in such systems arises due to interconnected microdomains that form the junctions in a three-dimensional network. Small angle X-ray scattering studies revealed that the physical networks show either short-range order, described by an effective hard sphere model, or long-range order, where junctions are arranged on a cubic lattice. The emerging morphology depends on the thermal conditions during preparation of such systems, which essentially reflects a competition among microdomain ordering and formation of the physical network.

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Journal J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys
Citation
Kleppinger, R, Mischenko, N, Reynaers, H. L, & Koch, M. H. J. (1999). Long-range order in physical networks of gel-forming triblock copolymer solutions. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys, 37, 1833–1840.