The self-assembly of linear-dendritic and lipid-like copolymers investigated by computer simulations

JM Hu and WD Tian and YQ Ma, RSC ADVANCES, 4, 59785-59791 (2014).

DOI: 10.1039/c4ra09167a

Amphiphiles have long been attractive for their spontaneous formation of diverse structures and potential applications. Here, the self-assembly of binary mixtures with various hydrophilic/hydrophobic ratios is systematically investigated by dissipative particle dynamics simulations. On increasing the proportion of linear-dendritic copolymers, the self-assembled structure changes from a compound vesicle to a netlike micelle. Additionally, more structures including the high- genus vesicle, toroidal vesicle, oblate vesicle, and the perforated vesicle are obtained at different mixing ratios. The spontaneous curvature of self-assembling morphologies is the critical factor for shaping their final structures. Furthermore, stress is released as much as possible via the intelligent distribution of two amphiphiles, which makes the structures more stable than those obtained in pure amphiphile systems. Moreover, the slow release of the potential energy stored in the initially self-assembled components may induce the system into a metastable state and the self-assembly can be kinetically controlled by a pathway-directing process.

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