Self-assembly scenarios of block copolymer stars

Christian Koch, Christos N. Likos, Athanassios Z. Panagiotopoulos, Federica Lo Verso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine the self-organization scenarios of star-shaped AB-block copolymers, consisting of a solvophilic A-block and a solvophobic B-block, in which f such blocks are chemically anchored on a common centre on their A-parts, leaving the B-blocks exposed on their exterior. We employ a lattice model and we perform Grand Canonical Monte Carlo simulations for the case f=6, varying thereby the percentage of attractive monomers as well as the concentration of stars. In agreement with previous studies on the low-functionality case f=3 [F. Lo Verso, A.Z. Panagiotopoulos, and C.N. Likos, Phys. Rev. E 79, 010401(R) (2009)], we find that when the majority of monomers in the star are attractive, macrophase separation between two fluid phases at different concentrations of stars occurs below a system-dependent critical temperature. When the majority of monomers is repulsive, novel forms of self-organization arise, which include not only well-defined spherical micelles but also the coexistence of a multiply-connected percolating cluster with smaller micelles having a well-defined size. The morphological characteristics and the sizes of the ensuing aggregates are quantitatively analysed and a critical comparison with the case f=3 and f=10 is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3049-3060
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Physics
Volume109
Issue number23-24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 10 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Keywords

  • block copolymer stars
  • lattice model
  • macrophase separation
  • microphase structuring
  • self-assembly

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