Mechanical hole burning spectroscopy in an SIS tri-block copolymer

Qian Qin, Xiangfu Shi, Gregory B. McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We have previously developed a mechanical hole burning spectroscopy (MSHB) technique that promises to be a powerful tool for the investigation of dynamic heterogeneity of polymeric materials. This is because, unlike its dielectric analogue, MSHB can be used to characterize materials having a weak dielectric response, a particular feature of polymeric materials. However, while both mechanical and dielectric hole burning show behaviors that are consistent with dynamic heterogeneity in the materials, it is still unclear what the relationship between the hole properties, for example, frequency and amplitude, and the actual nature of the heterogeneity and particularly the length scale being probed. Here, we provide first evidence that a known length scale can be probed by the MSHB method by using a triblock copolymer as a "calibration" sample. The heterogeneity of a styrene-isoprenestyrene copolymer was investigated in the vicinity of the order-disorder transition temperature (ODT). It was found that the amplitudes of the mechanical holes gradually decrease as the order-disorder transition is traversed from the region with ordered structures. In the disordered state of the block copolymer, no apparent mechanical holes were detected. In contrast, mechanical holes were burned in the heterogeneous region and the hole amplitude increased as the depth into the ordered structure increased. Hence, the MSHB technique provides a qualitative correlation between the amplitude of the burned holes and the corresponding heterogeneity,

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3277-3284
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2007


  • Block copolymer
  • Heterogeneity
  • Hole burning spectroscopy
  • MSHB
  • Molecular dynamics
  • NSHB


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