Temperature Tunable Micellization of Polystyrene-block-poly(2-vinylpyridine) at Si−Ionic Liquid Interface

Highly ordered and stable micelles formed from both symmetric and asymmetric block copolymers of polystyrene-block-poly(2-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P2VP) at the Si−ionic liquid (IL) interface have been investigated by scanning force microscopy (SFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate IL, a selective and temperature-tunable solvent for the P2VP block, was used and gave rise to block copolymer micelles having different morphologies that strongly depended on the annealing temperature. The effects of film thickness, molecular weight of block copolymers, and experimental conditions, such as preannealing, rinsing, and substrate properties, on the morphologies of block copolymer micelles were also studied. In addition, spherical micelles consisting of PS core and P2VP shell could also be obtained by core−corona inversion by annealing the as-coated micellar film in the IL at high temperatures. The possible mechanism for micelle formation is discussed.