Effect of mobile ions on the electric field needed to orient charged diblock copolymer thin films
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We examine the behavior of lamellar phases of charged/neutral diblock copolymer thin films containing mobile ions in the presence of an external electric field. We employ self-consistent field theory and focus on the aligning effect of the electric field on the lamellae. Of particular interest are the effects of the mobile ions on the critical field, the value required to reorient the lamellae from the parallel configuration favored by the surface interaction to the perpendicular orientation favored by the field. We find that the critical field depends strongly on whether the neutral or charged species is favored by the substrates. In the case in which the neutral species is favored, the addition of charges decreases the critical electric field significantly. The effect is greater when the mobile ions are confined to the charged lamellae. In contrast, when the charged species is favored by the substrate, the addition of mobile ions stabilizes the parallel configuration and thus results in an increase in the critical electric field. The presence of ions in the system introduces a new mixed phase in addition to those reported previously.
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