Molecular theory of liquid-crystal ordering in rod-coil diblock copolymers

Osipov, M. A. and Gorkunov, M. V. (2019) Molecular theory of liquid-crystal ordering in rod-coil diblock copolymers. Physical Review E, 100 (4). 042701. ISSN 2470-0045

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    Abstract

    Molecular-statistical theory of rod-coil diblock copolymers is proposed using the general density functional approach which enables one to consider the cases of both weak and strong segregation. The free energy of the system is expressed as a functional of the phase-space densities of rod and coil monomers, which depend on the orientational and translational order parameters. Temperature-concentration phase diagrams are obtained and the profiles of all order parameters are calculated numerically by minimizing the polymer free energy. The lamellar phase is shown to possess strong orientational order which is partially induced by the phase structural anisotropy. The enhanced stability of the lamellar phase is determined by a combination of the microphase separation effects and the emergence of long-range smectic order.