Phase Behavior of Rod–Coil Diblock Copolymer and Homopolymer Blends from Self-Consistent Field Theory
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The phase behavior of binary blends of rod-coil diblock copolymers and coil or rod homopolymers is studied by the self-consistent field theory (SCFT). The rod blocks are modeled as wormlike chains and the corresponding SCFT equations are solved using a hybrid method, in which the orientation-dependent functions are discretized on a unit sphere, while the positional space-dependent functions are treated using a spectral method. Phase diagrams of the blends are constructed as a function of the homopolymer volume fraction and phase segregation strength. It is discovered that the phase behavior of the system depends on the flexibility of the homopolymers. The addition of coil-homopolymers stabilizes the smectic phases. Low-molecular weight coil-homopolymers tend to mix with the coil-blocks, whereas high-molecular weight coil-homopolymers are mostly localized at the center of the coil-domains. On the other hand, the addition of rod-homopolymers strongly affects the orientation ordering of the system, leading to transitions between monolayer smectic-C, monolayer smectic-A and bilayer smectic-A phases.
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