Droplets of structured fluid on a flat substrate
Kim, J. U. and Matsen, M. W. (2009) Droplets of structured fluid on a flat substrate. Soft Matter, 5. pp. 2889-2895. ISSN 1744-683X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1039/b905163e
We study the equilibrium morphology of droplets of symmetric AB diblock copolymer on a flat substrate. Using self-consistent field theory (SCFT), we provide the first predictions for the equilibrium droplet shape and its internal structure. When the sustrate affinity for the A component, $\eta_A$, is small, the droplet adopts a nearly spherical shape much like that of simple fluids. Inside the spherical droplet, however, concentric circular lamellar layers stack on top of each other; hence the thickness of the droplet is effectively quantized by a half-integer or integer number of layers. At larger $\eta_A$ and smaller contact angle, the area of the upper-most layer becomes relatively large, resulting in a nearly flat, faceted top surface, followed by a semi-spherical slope. This geometry is remarkably reminiscent of the droplet shapes observed with smetic liquid crystals.