Can Zhou, Marc A. Hillmyer, and Timothy P. Lodge Journal of the American Chemical Society Article ASAP
This article compares the gelation of ABA and ABC tri-block copolymers. They find that their ABC tri-block polymers form gels at lower concentrations (2-5 wt%) as well as exhibit sharper sol-gel transitions. They claim that this is due to lack of loop formation between the two dissimilar hydrophobic ends of the tri-block as compared with tri-block polymers with similar hydrophobic ends. This exclusive bridging leads to a two-step gelation process where a micelle is formed first, followed by gelation. Cryo-TEM studies support the formation of a two-compartment network.