Sequential domain realignment driven by conformational asymmetry in block copolymer thin films

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Abstract

In this contribution, we use dissipative particle dynamics simulations to investigate the orientations of lamella-forming copolymers with two blocks of equal molecular weight confined in thin films. We employ neutral and symmetric interactions between the copolymer blocks and the walls, a situation for which contradicting observations have been made in experiments and previous theoretical studies. Our model takes into account a realistic degree of conformational asymmetry between the blocks, which stems from unequal Kuhn lengths of the constituent monomers. We perform a thorough scaling analysis to exclude finite size effects, and find, in agreement with experiments, a remarkable cascade of morphological transitions from parallel to perpendicular orientations when the film height is varied. We demonstrate that the emergence of a stable parallel configuration stems from entropic effects due to the conformational asymmetry and the confinement of the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1193-1198
Number of pages6
JournalMacromolecules
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 11 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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