Binary star-polymer solutions: Bulk and interfacial properties

A. J. Archer*, C. N. Likos, R. Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using an effective logarithmic-Gaussian pair potential that models the interaction between star polymers, we compare the hypernetted chain (HNC) and random phase approximations (RPA) for calculating the bulk structure (including the Fisher-Widom and Lifshitz lines), thermodynamic functions and phase diagram of a phase-separating binary fluid of star polymers, of two-arm length ratio 2:1. Thereby, the stars considered here are equivalent to linear chains in the mid-point representation of their effective interaction. We find that at densities where the star coronas overlap, the quasi-exact HNC and RPA give very similar results. Using a density functional approach, with a functional which generates the RPA, we calculate properties of the inhomogeneous binary fluid. We determine the surface tension and one-body density profiles at the free fluid-fluid interface. For states well removed from the critical point the profiles exhibit pronounced oscillations. For a purely repulsive planar wall potential that models the effective potential between a star polymer and a hard wall, we find a first-order wetting transition with the associated pre-wetting line.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12031-12050
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Volume14
Issue number46
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2002

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