Smectic ordering in athermal systems of rodlike triblock copolymers

Varga, Szabolcs; Fraden, Seth
October 2007
Journal of Chemical Physics;10/21/2007, Vol. 127 Issue 15, p154902
Academic Journal
The phase behavior of the system of parallel rigid triblock copolymers is examined using the second virial density functional theory. The triblock particle consists of two identical infinitely thin hard rods of finite lengths on the opposite ends of one central hard cylinder with nonzero length and diameter. Stability analyses and free energy calculations show that the system of parallel particles can form not only uniform nematic and smectic A phases but also a smectic C phase. The stability and structure of the tilted structure are controlled by only the diameter and the length of the central cylinder segment. Interestingly, the diameter affects only the layer tilting and the periodicity, but not the packing fraction of the nematic to smectic–C transition. For all values of cylinder length the usual smectic A and smectic C transitions compete with each other and no nematic-columnar transition is observed. At low and high cylinder lengths the smectic A phase is stabilized first, while the smectic C is the most stable for intermediate length values.


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