Date of Thesis

Spring 2019


Block copolymers capable of self-assembly provide a broad platform for the development of functional materials due to the ability to conveniently tune the microdomain geometry through changes to their molecular parameters. Of particular interest are selectively solvated ABA triblock copolymer organogels loaded with reverse micelles. These materials utilize multiple self-assembly processes and have potential applications in drug delivery. This work will focus on demonstrating the feasibility of fabricating such systems by solvent casting, and characterizing the structural and transport properties of the resulting gels. Parameters such as copolymer composition and block fraction can be varied to yield gels with varying microstructures. These microstructures are primarily investigated using small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) to obtain quantitative information about the size and shape of the various microdomains. The impact of changes to these microdomain geometries on reverse micelle mobility within the gels are then determined using bulk elution methods in which the reverse micelle concentration within the gels over time is determined using quantitative Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The results indicate that a high level of control can be achieved with polystyrene domain radius and mesh size values ranging from 4.6 to 16.2 nm and 12.4 to 49.4 nm, respectively, producing reverse micelle diffusion coefficients ranging from 1 x 10-15 to 1 x 10-13 m2/s.


block copolymer, organogel, reverse micelle, diffusion, SAXS

Access Type

Masters Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Kenneth Mineart