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Communication: Lateral phase separation of mixed polymer brushes physisorbed on planar substrates
9. M. A. C. Stuart, W. T. S. Huck, J. Genzer, M. Muller, C. Ober, M. Stamm, G. B. Sukhorukov, I. Szleifer, V. V. Tsukruk, M. Urban, F. Winnik, S. Zauscher, I. Luzinov, and S. Minko, Nature Mater. 9, 101 (2010).
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25.Changing from a hexagonal to square lattice did not affect the phases observed in simulations, though the values of χ and κ corresponding to different phases were shifted due to the difference in the number of near-neighbors per lattice site. Simulation results were also not affected by an increase in system size.
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Here, we present a new method to model lateral phase separation in mixed polymer brushes physisorbed to a planar surface with mobile grafting points. The model is based on a local mean field theory that combines a Flory-Huggins approximation for interaction enthalpies with an Alexander-de Gennes brush entropy contribution. Using Monte Carlo sampling, the application of these two interactions to a lattice model yields a range of phase behavior consistent with previous theoretical and experimental work. This model will be useful for predicting mixed polymer brush morphologies on planar surfaces and in principle can be extended to other geometries (e.g., spheres) and polymer systems.
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