Unit-cell approximation for diblock−copolymer brushes grafted to spherical particles
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1021/ma2003745
This paper examines the equilibrium phase behavior of thin diblock-copolymer films tethered to a spherical core, using numerical self-consistent field theory (SCFT). The computational cost of the calculation is greatly reduced by implementing the unit-cell approximation (UCA) routinely used in the study of bulk systems. This provides a tremendous reduction in computational time, permitting us to map out the phase behavior more extensively and allowing us to consider far larger particles. The main consequence of the UCA is that it omits packing frustration, but evidently the effect is minor for large particles. On the other hand, when the particles are small, the UCA calculation can be readily followed up with the full SCFT, the comparison to which conveniently allows one to quantitatively assess the effect of packing frustration.