The synthesis of a series of new rod-coil diblock copolymers with different molecular weights and low polydispersity was achieved by atom transfer radical polymerization. The block architecture (coil-conformation of styrene segment and rigid-rod conformation of 2,5-bis[(4-methoxyphenyl)-oxycarbonyl]styrene segment) of the diblock copolymers was experimentally confirmed by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The liquid crystalline behavior of the copolymers was studied using DSC and a polarized optical microscope (POM). It was found that the liquid crystalline behavior was dependent on the molecular-weight of the rigid segment. Only those copolymers with Mn of the rigid block beyond 9,300 g/mol could form liquid crystalline phases above the glass transition temperature of the rigid block.
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