Instability of the Microemulsion Channel in Block Copolymer-Homopolymer Blends

Vorselaars, Bart, Spencer, Russell K. W. and Matsen, Mark W. (2020) Instability of the Microemulsion Channel in Block Copolymer-Homopolymer Blends. Physical Review Letters, 125 . p. 117801. ISSN 0031-9007

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.117801

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Instability of the Microemulsion Channel in Block Copolymer-Homopolymer Blends
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Abstract

Field theoretic simulations are used to predict the equilibrium phase diagram of symmetric blends of AB diblock copolymer with A- and B-type homopolymers. Experiments generally observe a channel of bicontinuous microemulsion (BμE) separating the ordered lamellar (LAM) phase from coexisting homopolymer-rich (A+B) phases. However, our simulations find that the channel is unstable with respect to macrophase separation, in particular, A+B+BμE coexistence at high T and A+B+LAM coexistence at low T. The preference for three-phase coexistence is attributed to a weak attractive interaction between diblock monolayers.

Keywords:phase behaviour, polymer blends, block copolymers, phase separation, Microemulsion
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F200 Materials Science
F Physical Sciences > F300 Physics
F Physical Sciences > F162 Polymer Chemistry
F Physical Sciences > F343 Computational Physics
Divisions:College of Science > School of Mathematics and Physics
ID Code:42341
Deposited On:20 Oct 2020 15:44

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