Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 2008, 73, 358-371

Self-Assembly of Heteroarm Star Copolymers Studied by Lattice Monte Carlo Simulation

Jitka Havránková, Zuzana Limpouchová and Karel Procházka*

Department of Physical and Macromolecular Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Albertov 6, 128 43 Prague 2, Czech Republic


Results of lattice Monte Carlo simulations on the self-assembly of heteroarm star copolymers in strongly selective solvents (athermal for A arms and considerably bad for B arms) are presented. The arms are modeled as the self-avoiding walks on a simple cubic lattice tethered to the point. A modified simulation algorithm and an improved recognition criterion of associated structures developed in our previous study are used. The paper is a continuation of our systematic study of heteroarm star copolymers and focuses on the effect of the ratio of numbers of soluble to insoluble arms and the distribution of A and B segments in short or long arms on the self-assembly. It confirms the predictable effect of the soluble-to-insoluble arm number ratio on the association behavior. Nevertheless, the comparison of results for different architectures with the same numbers of soluble and insoluble segments, but different lengths of soluble and insoluble arms shows a strong effect of the distribution of A and B segments in different arms.

Keywords: Heteroarm star copolymers; Lattice Monte Carlo simulations; Self-assembly; Polymeric micelles.

References: 27 live references.