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Title: Theory of melt polyelectrolyte blends and block copolymers: Phase behavior, surface tension, and microphase periodicity

Polymer mixtures such as blends or block copolymers are of great interest in energy applications and functional materials, and often, one or more of these species contain charges. The traditional fashion in which such materials are studied uses Self-Consistent Field Theory (SCFT) methods that incorporate electrostatics using Poisson-Boltzmann (PB) theory. We adapt a new and rigorous approach that does not rely on the mean-field assumptions inherent in the PB theory and instead uses Liquid State (LS) integral equation theory to articulate charge correlations that are completely neglected in PB. We use this theory to calculate phase diagrams for both blends and block copolyelectrolytes using SCFT-LS and demonstrate how their phase behavior is highly dependent on chain length, charge fraction, charge size, and the strength of Coulombic interactions. Beyond providing phase behavior of blends and block copolyelectrolytes, we can use this theory to investigate the interfacial properties such as surface tension and block copolyelectrolyte lamellar spacing. Lamellar spacing provides a way to directly compare the SCFT-LS theory to the results of experiments. SCFT-LS will provide conceptual and mathematical clarification of the role of charge correlations in these systems and aid in the design of materials based on charge polymers.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208 (United States)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22416028
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 142; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; COPOLYMERS; CORRELATIONS; ELECTROSTATICS; INTEGRAL EQUATIONS; LIQUIDS; MEAN-FIELD THEORY; PERIODICITY; PHASE DIAGRAMS; SELF-CONSISTENT FIELD; SURFACE TENSION