Customizing wormlike mesoscale structures via self-assembly of amphiphilic star polymers
We examine the phase behavior of end-functionalized diblock copolymer stars by means of Grand Canonical Monte Carlo simulations. We focus on solutions of diblock copolymer stars with a solvophobic outer block shorter than the solvophilic inner block, which are expected to nucleate microphase aggregates. By tuning the temperature and rigidity of the molecules, we target specific mesoscale structures, which can act as powerful rheology modifiers. In particular, we control the hierarchical self-assembly of single micelles in a “pearl-necklace” fashion, which eventually merge into elongated, wormlike supermicelles.