We used the self-consistent field (SCF) formalism of Scheutjens and Fleer (SF-SCF) to complement existing theoretical investigations on the phase behavior of block copolymer melts. This method employs the freely jointed chain (FJC) model for finite chain length and systematic differences exist compared to the classical SCF predictions. We focus on the critical and hexagonal (HEX) to lamellar (LAM) phase transition region at intermediate and strong segregations. Chain length (N) dependence of the critical point (Χcr) was found to be ΧcrN = 10.495(1 + 4/N). The characteristic spacing (D) of LAM was found as D = 4/3 p N at the critical conditions. We present SF-SCF predictions for the phases single gyroid (SG), double gyroid (DG) and hexagonally perforated lamellar (HPL), in the region where HEX and LAM compete. At ΧN = 30, N = 300; we found SG and HPL were metastable with respect to LAM or HEX, DG was stable in a narrow region of the asymmetry ratio. In contrast to the latest predictions, at strong segregation ΧN = 120, DG was found to be metastable. From the structural evolution of HPL, we speculate that this may be an intermediate phase that allows the system to go through various connectivity regimes between minority and majority blocks.
- Block copolymers
- Microphase segregation
- Self-consistent field theory
Mocan, M., Kamperman, M., & Leermakers, F. A. M. (2018). Microphase segregation of diblock copolymers studied by the self-consistent field theory of Scheutjens and Fleer. Polymers, 10(1), . https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10010078