Biological & Soft Matter Seminar: Formation of Block Copolymer Particles: Theoretical Aspects

Yanyan Zhu, TAU

28 February 2024, 11:00 
Kaplun Building, Flekser Hall 118 
Biological & Soft Matter Seminar



Block copolymer (BCP) particles have a wide range of applications in intelligent coatings, drug delivery, fuel cells, and more. The key scientific question in these applications is how to precisely control the overall shape and internal structure of the particles. For example, using ellipsoidal particles as solutes makes it easier to obtain uniform coatings than using spherical particles. In experiments, block copolymer particles are mostly prepared by confining the block copolymers in emulsion droplets. Under such three-dimensional soft confinement, the self-assembly shape and internal structure of block copolymers are influenced by various factors, including interactions between different components, particle size, solvent evaporation rate, etc. We systematically studied the formation mechanism of block copolymer particles and explored the dependence of the self-assembly structures on the kinetic pathways using Ginzburg-Landau theory and dynamic self-consistent field theory. Various possible experimental factors that affect the overall shape and internal structure of the particles are considered. Our findings lead to an effective way of tailoring nanostructure of BCP particles for various industrial applications.

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