Induced liquid-crystalline ordering in solutions of stiff and flexible amphiphilic macromolecules: Effect of mixture composition

MK Glagolev and VV Vasilevskaya and AR Khokhlov, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 145, 044904 (2016).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4959861

Impact of mixture composition on self-organization in concentrated solutions of stiff helical and flexible macromolecules was studied by means of molecular dynamics simulation. The macromolecules were composed of identical amphiphilic monomer units but a fraction f of macromolecules had stiff helical backbones and the remaining chains were flexible. In poor solvents the compacted flexible macromolecules coexist with bundles or filament clusters from few intertwined stiff helical macromolecules. The increase of relative content f of helical macromolecules leads to increase of the length of helical clusters, to alignment of clusters with each other, and then to liquid-crystalline- like ordering along a single direction. The formation of filament clusters causes segregation of helical and flexible macromolecules and the alignment of the filaments induces effective liquid-like ordering of flexible macromolecules. A visual analysis and calculation of order parameter relaying the anisotropy of diffraction allow concluding that transition from disordered to liquid-crystalline state proceeds sharply at relatively low content of stiff components. Published by AIP Publishing.

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