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Author ORCID Identifier 0000-0002-3348-6946


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Polymer Science and Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Gregory M. Grason

Subject Categories

Polymer Science | Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics


Block copolymer (BCP) melts undergo microphase seperation and form ordered soft matter crystals with varying domain shapes and symmetries. We study the con- nection between diblock copolymer molecular designs and thermodynamic selection of ordered crystals by modeling features of variable sub-domain geometry filled with individual blocks within non-canonical sphere-like and network phases that together with layered, cylindrical and canonical spherical phases forms “natural forms” of self- assembled amphiphilic soft matter at large. First, we present a model to revise our understanding of optimal Frank-Kasper sphere-like morphologies by advancing the- ory to account for varying domain volumes. We then develop generic approaches to quantify local changes to domain thickness or packing frustration using medial sets and show its application to morphologies with arbitrary domain topologies and sym- metries in both theoretical models and experimental data. We further use medial sets as a proxy for terminal boundaries of blocks within different domains and revise thermodynamic models of BCP assembly in the strong segregation limit. Finally, we use this revised model to study effect of elastic stiffness asymmetry on relaxing packing frustration experienced by BCPs in tubular and matrix domains leading to equilibrium double gyroid network morphology in diblock copolymers.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.