We present a theoretical model for predicting the phase behavior of polymer solutions in which phase separation competes with oligomerization. Specifically, we consider scenarios in which the assembly of polymer chains into stoichiometric complexes prevents the chains from phase-separating via attractive polymer-polymer interactions. Combining statistical associating fluid theory with a two-state description of self-assembly, we find that this model exhibits rich phase behavior, including reentrance, and we show how system-specific phase diagrams can be derived graphically. Importantly, we discuss why these phase diagrams can resemble - and yet are qualitatively distinct from - phase diagrams of polymer solutions with lower critical solution temperatures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability