An insight into polymerization-induced self-assembly by dissipative particle dynamics simulation†
Polymerization-induced self-assembly is a one-pot route to produce concentrated dispersions of block copolymer nano-objects. Herein, dissipative particle dynamics simulations with a reaction model were employed to investigate the behaviors of polymerization-induced self-assembly. The polymerization kinetics in the polymerization-induced self-assembly were analyzed by comparing with solution polymerization. It was found that the polymerization rate enhances in the initial stage and decreases in the later stage. In addition, the effects of polymerization rate, length of macromolecular initiators, and concentration on the aggregate morphologies and formation pathway were studied. The polymerization rate and the length of the macromolecular initiators are found to have a marked influence on the pathway of the aggregate formations and the final structures. Morphology diagrams were mapped correspondingly. A comparison between simulation results and experimental findings is also made and an agreement is shown. This work can enrich our knowledge about polymerization-induced self-assembly.