Ripple structures of mixed homopolymer brushes grafted on cylindrical surfaces: controlling the orientation of the pattern by attuning the substrate curvatures
We employed the strong segregation theory (SST) to study the phase structures of mixed homopolymer brushes grafted on cylindrical surfaces. We considered a simplified case in which two incompatible homopolymers have the same chain length and grafting density. Under these conditions, micro-phase separation in the brush may result in either ripple or helix structures. By comparing the free energy of the possible candidate structures, we found that the helix structure is never the most stable one, while the stability of the perpendicular and parallel ripple structures are sensitive to the curvature of the grafting substrate. It was found that the morphology orientation of the mixed homopolymer brushes can be controlled by attuning the geometry of the substrates.