Effects of nanoconfinement on structure and properties of side-chain liquid crystalline polymers
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Semi-crystalline polymers have shown increased crystalline order and size when confined in multilayered films by coextrusion1. The resulting large crystals lead to dramatic improvements in gas barrier properties. Ordered polymers whose characteristics are between that of the liquid phase and the crystalline phase are known as liquid crystalline polymers. The highly ordered mesogens in liquid crystalline polymers contribute to their exceptional bulk properties. In this research, side-chain liquid crystalline polymers were confined in multilayered films, made by either multilayer coextrusion or spin coating, with a non-liquid crystalline polymer in an attempt to improve the ordering of the liquid crystalline mesogens. The liquid crystalline behavior and morphology was studied to understand the correlation between the confinement size and the properties of the multilayer films. Commercial main chain liquid crystalline polymers and hydrogen bonded liquid crystalline polymers were also explored in this research for their use in multilayer coextrusion.