We present a statistical mechanical approach for predicting the self-assembled morphologies of amphiphilic diblock copolymers in the melt. We introduce two conformationally asymmetric linear copolymer models with a local structural asymmetry, one of a "comb-tail'' type and another that we call "continuous jackknife model.'' The copolymers consist of amphiphilic and "monophilic'' (non-amphiphilic) blocks, which have different segmental volume and tend to segregate into subphases. Using a self-consistent field theory (SCFT) framework, we explore the phase diagrams for these copolymers and compare them with that known for conventional, conformationally symmetric diblock copolymers. To determine the impact of structural effects on the self-assembly of copolymer melts, copolymers with a variation in both molecular architecture and chemical composition, f, are studied for different values of the Flory-Huggins parameter, chi. The composition dependence of the phase diagrams is shown to be basically determined by the conformational asymmetry. Remarkably, the stable lamellar structures exist even in the very compositionally asymmetric case, f <1/4. An interesting geometric distinction of the "direct'' and "inverse'' morphologies is introduced. The presence of an internal structure is found to influence the high chi behavior, where a stable two-scale (structure-instructure) hexagonal morphology is found to be formed for some compositions. Therefore, the local chemical structure of monomer units can dictate the global morphology of copolymer melts.
- SUPRAMOLECULAR POLYMERIC MATERIALS
- COMPETING LENGTH SCALES
- CONFORMATIONAL ASYMMETRY
- FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS