Phase Behavior of Binary Blends of Diblock Copolymer/Homopolymer Confined in Spherical Nanopores
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Binary blends of a diblock copolymer (AB) and an incompatible homopolymer (C) confined in spherical cavities are studied using a simulated annealing technique. The phase behavior of the blends is examined for four typical cases, representing the different selectivity of the pore surface to the A, B, and C species. The internal morphology of the spherical polymeric particles is controlled by the homopolymer volume fraction, the degree of confinement, and the composition of the copolymer. Inside a particle, the homopolymers segregate to form one or, under some conditions, two domains; thus, the homopolymers may act as an additional controlling parameter of the shape and symmetry of the copolymer domain. A rich array of confinement-induced novel diblock copolymer morphologies is predicted. In particular, core-shell particles with the copolymers as the shell wrapping around a homopolymer core or a copolymer-homopolymer combined core and Janus-like particles with the copolymers and the homopolymers on different sides are obtained.
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