chapter  1
6 Pages

Introduction and Plan

ByFrancisco J. Baltâ Calleja, Zbigniew Roslaniec

The growth of the block copolymer industry has reached a high level of commer­ cial importance, involving many new products and industry participants, as well as a large number of academic research groups. The increasing importance and in­ terest in block copolymers arises mainly from their unique properties in solution and in the solid state, which are a consequence of their molecular structure. A block copolymer is a combination of two or more polymers joined end to end. Star-block or radial-block copolymers have branched structures and will not be considered here. In particular, sequences of different chemical composition are usually incompatible and therefore have a tendency to segregate. Amphiphilic properties in solution and microdomain formation in the solid state are directly re­ lated to this specific molecular architecture, which can be designed by using ex­ isting monomers and polymers.