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Alternating crystalline lamellar structures from thermodynamically miscible poly(ε-caprolactone) H/D blends...

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320 to 328

Thermodynamic interaction and non-isothermal crystallization behavior in a series of protiated (H-) and deuterated (D-) poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) blends have been systematically investigated. The blends were thermodynamically miscible in the melt. The Flory−Huggins interaction parameter (χ) between H- and D-PCL segments was estimated. The hydroxyl groups in the PCL chain-ends were found to contribute significantly to the negative χ values. Combined characterization of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) revealed that upon slow cooling, unique alternating H-rich and D-rich PCL lamellar structures are formed regardless of the blend ratio, which is attributed to the Tc difference between H- and D-PCLs. While upon rapid cooling, mixed crystals of H- and D-PCLs are predominantly formed. These results provide insightful information on the melt thermodynamics as well as detailed chain arrangements in lamellar crystals for semi-crystalline H/D polyester blends.