Molecular Simulations Group - publications

Phase Behavior of Polymer Solutions and Blends

Knychała P.1, Timachova K.2, Banaszak M.3,4, Balsara N. P.2,5
  • 1Faculty of Polytechnic, The President Stanislaw Wojciechowski University School of Applied Sciences in Kalisz, ul. Nowy Świat 4, 62-800 Kalisz, Poland
  • 2Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering University of California, Berkeley, California 94720
  • 3Faculty of Physics, A. Mickiewicz University, ul. Umultowska 85, 61-614 Poznan, Poland
  • 4NanoBioMedical Centre, Adam Mickiewicz University, ul. Umultowska 85, 61-614 Poznan, Poland
  • 5Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, United States
Macromolecules, 50 (8), 3051–3065, 2017
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.6b02619
Abstract: We summarize our knowledge of the phase behavior of polymer solutions and blends using a unified approach. We begin with a derivation of the Flory-Huggins expression for the Gibbs free energy of mixing two chemically dissimilar polymers. The Gibbs free energy of mixing of polymer solutions is obtained as a special case. These expressions are used to interpret observed phase behavior of polymer solutions and blends. Temperature and pressure dependent phase diagrams are used to determine the Flory-Huggins interaction parameter, χ. We also discuss an alternative approach for measuring χ due to de Gennes, who showed that neutron scattering from concentration fluctuations in one-phase systems was a sensitive function of χ. In most cases, the agreement between experimental data and the standard Flory-Huggins-de Gennes approach is qualitative. We conclude by summarizing advanced theories that have been proposed to address the limitations of the standard approach. In spite of considerable effort, there is no consensus on the reasons for departure between the standard theories and experiments.
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