Effects of confinement on the order-disorder transition of diblock copolymer melts
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The effects of confinement on the order-disorder transition of diblock copolymer melts are studied theoretically. Confinements are realized by restricting diblock copolymers in finite spaces with different geometries (slabs, cylinders, and spheres). Within the random phase approximation, the correlation functions are calculated using the eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of the Laplacian operator inverted Delta(2) in the appropriate geometries. This leads to a size-dependent scattering function, and the minimum of the inverse scattering function determines the spinodal point of the homogeneous phase. For diblock copolymers confined in a slab or in a cylindrical nanopore, the spinodal point of the homogeneous phase (chiN)(s) is found to be independent of the confinement. On the other hand, for diblock copolymers confined in a spherical nanopore, (chiN)(s) depends on the confinement and it oscillates as a function of the radius of the sphere. Further understanding of the finite-size effects is provided by examining the fluctuation modes using the Landau-Brazovskii model.
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