Liquid-crystal Assembly of Semiflexible-coil/Homopolymer Blends: a Dissipative Particle Dynamics Study

YY Wang and QL Song and LL He, CHINESE JOURNAL OF POLYMER SCIENCE, 36, 1200-1206 (2018).

DOI: 10.1007/s10118-018-2122-y

The liquid-crystal assembly of semiflexible-coil diblock copolymers with coil or semiflexible homopolymers is studied by dissipative particle dynamics simulation. Phase diagrams of the blends and orientation ordering parameters among semiflexible blocks are constructed as a function of chain stiffness and homopolymer volume fraction. For semiflexible-coil/coil blends with varying stiffness of semiflexible blocks, we display the rich phase behaviors of the system transited from coil-coil/coil to rod-coil/coil blends. The disorder-lamellae or lamellae-liquid crystalline transition and "dry brush" phenomenon induced by coil homopolymers are observed. For semiflexible- coil/semiflexible blends, adding semiflexible homopolymers also leads to a disorder-order transition and even a transition between monolayer and bilayer smectic-A phase. The results demonstrate that blending homopolymers into semiflexible copolymers can induce liquid-crystal assembly and even improve the orientation ordering of semiflexible blocks effectively.

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