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Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Plant Sciences Institute

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We investigate equilibrium microstructures exhibited by diblock copolymers in confined 3D geometries. We perform Self-Consistent Field Theory (SCFT) simulations using a finite-element based computational framework (Ackerman et al. 2017), that provides the flexibility to compute equilibrium structures under arbitrary geometries. We consider a sequence of 3D geometries (tetrahedron to sphere) that have the same volume but exhibit varying curvature. This allows us to study the interplay between edge and curvature effects of the 3D geometries on the equilibrium microstructures. We observe that beyond a length scale, the equilibrium structure changes from an interconnected network to a multi-layered concentric shell as the curvature of the 3D geometry is reduced. However, below this length scale the equilibrium structure remains a multi-layered concentric shell independent of curvature. We additionally explore variations in the equilibrium microstructures at a few discrete volume fractions. This study provides insight into possible frustrated phases that can arise in AB diblock systems while varying the shape of confinement geometry.


This is a pre-print of the article Tenneti, Ananth, David M. Ackerman, and Baskar Ganapathysubramanian. "Equilibrium microstructures of diblock copolymers under 3D confinement." arXiv preprint arXiv:1910.09088 (2019). Posted with permission.

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