Lamellar morphologies of melt-crystallized blends of syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS, weight-average molecular weight Mw=200k) and atactic polystyrene (aPS, Mw=100k) have been investigated using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). sPS/aPS blends with various compositions were prepared and crystallized isothermally at 250°C prior to morphological studies. Due to the proximity in the densities of the crystal and amorphous phases, a weak SAXS reflection associated with lamellar microstructure was obtained at room temperature. In addition, strong diffuse scattering at low scattering vectors was evidently observed and its appearance may obscure the intensity maximum associated with the lamellar features, leading to the difficulties in determining the microstructure of the blends. To enhance the density contrast, SAXS intensities at an elevated temperature of 150°C were measured as well to deduce the morphological results with better precision. Based on the Debye-Bueche theory, the intensities of the diffuse scattering were estimated and subtracted from the observed intensities to obtain the scattering contribution exclusively from the lamellar microstructure. Morphological parameters of the sPS/aPS blends were derived from the one-dimensional correlation function. On addition of aPS, no significant changes in the lamellar thickness have been found and the derived lamellar thicknesses are in good agreement with TEM measurements. Segregation of rejected aPS components during sPS crystallization was evidently observed from TEM images which showed aPS pockets located between sPS lamellar stacks and distributed uniformly in the bulk samples, leading to the interfibrillar segregation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry