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Issue 44, 2012
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Diblock copolymer–selective nanoparticle mixtures in the lamellar phase confined between two parallel walls: a mean field model

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Abstract

We present a mean field model for a mixture of AB diblock-copolymers and A-block selective nanoparticles confined between two identical non-selective walls. A horizontally symmetric lamellar structure of the nanocomposite is considered where nanoparticles are allowed to segregate between the polymer–wall interfaces. For a fixed value of wall separation, we study changes in the free energy as a function of the number of lamellar layers and the amount of nanoparticle uptake in the A-phase denoted by y = ϕx with 0 ≤ x ≤ 1 for a given value of ϕ, where ϕ is the overall nanoparticle volume fraction. The absorption isotherm for nanoparticle uptake in the A-phase as a function of ϕ shows saturation beyond a threshold value ϕs, and the optimal value of uptake y increases with increasing strength of monomer–nanoparticle attractive interaction. Increasing ϕ above ϕs produces a decrease in the optimal number of lamellar layers which is related to a jump-like transition of the chain extension. The effect of varying film thickness is also studied. By considering A-block selective walls we also investigated a wetting transition of the copolymer film and found the transition to be discontinuous. A corresponding phase diagram is constructed.

Graphical abstract: Diblock copolymer–selective nanoparticle mixtures in the lamellar phase confined between two parallel walls: a mean field model

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Article information


Submitted
02 Jul 2012
Accepted
26 Aug 2012
First published
17 Sep 2012

Soft Matter, 2012,8, 11328-11335
Article type
Paper

Diblock copolymer–selective nanoparticle mixtures in the lamellar phase confined between two parallel walls: a mean field model

L. S. Shagolsem and J. Sommer, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 11328 DOI: 10.1039/C2SM26531A

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