Mechanism and Kinetics of Phase Separation in Polymer Solutions and Blends
One of the fundamental problems of the polymer science is to establish the mechanism of self-organization in polymer systems under the non-equilibrium conditions. Two mechanisms of phase separation are usually considered: nucleation and growth and spinodal decomposition. The kinetics of phase separation in polymer mixtures depends also on some other factors, connected with the structure of macromolecules. The analogous effects can be observed in polymer solutions and at concentrations of the order of a few percents due to transition into the region between binodal and spinodal. In the metastable region, the phase separation proceeds according to the mechanism of nucleation and growth. J. W. Cahn theory forms the fundamental basis for studying kinetics of phase separation by spinodal mechanism in aging of metal alloys, and inorganic glasses. Microphase separation is simultaneously the function of miscibility of constituent networks and reaction kinetics.