271355 Influence of Sequence Distribution Effects On the Phase Behavior and Interfacial Properties of Random Copolymers

Thursday, November 1, 2012: 8:30 AM
Butler East (Westin )
Venkat Ganesan, Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, Victor Pryamitsyn, Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX and Gunja Pandav, Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

With the development of advanced polymerization techniques, it is now becoming possible to exercise significant control over polymer properties by controlling their physicochemical characteristics such as molecular weight, chain architecture, sequence chemistry etc. As a consequence, synthesis of new classes of copolymers, such as random copolymers, gradient copolymers, comb copolymers, star copolymers etc. is now becoming common. In this study we focus on the broad class of random and gradient copolymers, both of which have attracted significant attention in the context of their potential as interfacial modifiers. In this context, I discuss our recent work focusing on the influence of sequence polydispersity in influencing the phase behavior, self-assembly and interfacial properties of random and gradient copolymers. I will focus on three examples: (i) The origin of “super” neutrality of grafted random copolymer brushes;1,2 (ii) The phase transition behavior of gradient copolymer solutions;3 (iii) The self-assembly and interfacial properties of gradient copolymer melts. In each of these instances, we have used theoretical models to demonstrate that the ensemble of sequence distributions underlying such copolymeric systems exerts a critical influence on the overall thermodynamic behavior and properties of the system. In this manner, our results suggest that ignoring such sequence distribution effects can lead to quantitatively and in many times qualitatively different behaviors and properties.

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See more of this Session: Modeling and Simulation of Polymers I
See more of this Group/Topical: Materials Engineering and Sciences Division