Improved Elastic Recovery from ABC Triblock Terpolymers
Kaitlin R. Albanese, Jacob R. Blankenship, Timothy Quah, Amy Zhang, Kris T. Delaney, Glenn H. Fredrickson, Christopher M. Bates, and Craig J. Hawker
ACS Polym. Au 2023
Abstract: The promise of ABC triblock terpolymers for improving the mechanical properties of thermoplastic elastomers is demonstrated by comparison with symmetric ABA/CBC analogs having similar molecular weights and volume fraction of B and A/C domains. The ABC architecture enhances elasticity (up to 98% recovery over 10 cycles) in part through essentially full chain bridging between discrete hard domains leading to the minimization of mechanically unproductive loops. In addition, the unique phase space of ABC triblocks also enables the fraction of hard-block domains to be higher (fhard ≈ 0.4) while maintaining elasticity, which is traditionally only possible with non-linear architectures or highly asymmetric ABA triblock copolymers. These advantages of ABC triblock terpolymers provide a tunable platform to create materials with practical applications while improving our fundamental understanding of chain conformation and structure–property relationships in block copolymers.