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Polymers 2018, 10(1), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10010078

Microphase Segregation of Diblock Copolymers Studied by the Self-Consistent Field Theory of Scheutjens and Fleer

Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter, Wageningen University, Stippeneng 4, 6708 WE Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 17 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RAFT Living Radical Polymerization and Self-Assembly)
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Abstract

We used the self-consistent field (SCF) formalism of Scheutjens and Fleer (SF-SCF) to complement existing theoretical investigations on the phase behavior of block copolymer melts. This method employs the freely jointed chain (FJC) model for finite chain length and systematic differences exist compared to the classical SCF predictions. We focus on the critical and hexagonal (HEX) to lamellar (LAM) phase transition region at intermediate and strong segregations. Chain length (N) dependence of the critical point ( χ c r ) was found to be χ c r N = 10.495 ( 1 + 4 / N ) . The characteristic spacing (D) of LAM was found as D = 4 / 3 N at the critical conditions. We present SF-SCF predictions for the phases single gyroid (SG), double gyroid (DG) and hexagonally perforated lamellar (HPL), in the region where HEX and LAM compete. At χ N = 30 , N = 300 ; we found SG and HPL were metastable with respect to LAM or HEX, DG was stable in a narrow region of the asymmetry ratio. In contrast to the latest predictions, at strong segregation χ N = 120 , DG was found to be metastable. From the structural evolution of HPL, we speculate that this may be an intermediate phase that allows the system to go through various connectivity regimes between minority and majority blocks. View Full-Text
Keywords: microphase segregation; self-consistent field theory; block copolymers microphase segregation; self-consistent field theory; block copolymers
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Mocan, M.; Kamperman, M.; Leermakers, F.A.M. Microphase Segregation of Diblock Copolymers Studied by the Self-Consistent Field Theory of Scheutjens and Fleer. Polymers 2018, 10, 78.

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