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Simulation-guided resonant soft X-ray scattering for determining microstructure of triblock copolymers



Eliot Gann, Veronica Reynolds, Michael L. Chabinyc, Christopher Bates, Devon Callan, Elizabeth Murphy, Yan-Qiao Chen, Kaitlin Albanese, Claire Wu, Craig Hawker


Resonant soft X-ray scattering (RSoXS) probes structure with chemical sensitivity that is useful for determining the morphology of multiblock copolymers. However, the hyperspectral data produced by this technique are challenging to interpret. Here, we use computational scattering pattern simulations to extract triblock microstructure from the energy-dependent signals observed in RSoXS. Through quantitative evaluation of a physics-informed set of model morphologies against experimental data, we find a best-fit microstructure of hexagonally-packed core–shell cylinders. We find excellent agreement with electron density reconstruction from hard X-ray scattering data. These results demonstrate the utility of simulation-guided scattering analysis to study complex microstructures that are challenging to image by microscopy.


Synchrotron Scattering, Resonant X-ray Scattering, Polymers, block copolymers, small angle X-ray Scattering


Gann, E. , Reynolds, V. , Chabinyc, M. , Bates, C. , Callan, D. , Murphy, E. , Chen, Y. , Albanese, K. , Wu, C. and Hawker, C. (2022), Simulation-guided resonant soft X-ray scattering for determining microstructure of triblock copolymers, Macromolecules, [online],, (Accessed June 12, 2024)


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Created August 1, 2022, Updated November 29, 2022