Molecular Simulations Group - publications

Complex Phase Behavior and Network Characteristics of Midblock-Solvated Triblock Copolymers as Physically Cross-linked Soft Materials

Wołoszczuk S.1, Tuhin M. O.2, Grade S. R.3, Pasquinelli M. A.4, Banaszak M.1,5, Spontak R. J.2,5,6
  • 1Faculty of Physics, Adam Mickiewicz University, ulica Umultowska 85, Poznan, Poland
  • 2Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, United States
  • 3Department of Computer Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, United States
  • 4Fiber and Polymer Science Program, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, United States
  • 5NanoBioMedical Centre, Adam Mickiewicz University, Umultowska 85, Poznan, Poland
  • 6Department of Materials Science and Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, United States
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 9 (46), pp.39940-39944, 2017
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b14298
Abstract: In the presence of a midblock-selective solvent, triblock copolymers not only self-organize but also form a molecular network. Thermoplastic elastomer gels, examples of such materials, serve as sealants and adhesives, as well as ballistic, microfluidic, and electroactive media. We perform Monte Carlo and dissipative particle dynamics simulations to investigate the phase behavior and network characteristics of these materials. Of particular interest is the existence of a truncated octahedral morphology that resembles the atomic arrangement of various inorganic species. Both simulations quantify the midblock bridges responsible for network development and thus provide a detailed molecular picture of these composition-tunable soft materials.
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