Journal of Statistical Physics

, Volume 113, Issue 1, pp 151-176

First online:

On the Derivation of a Density Functional Theory for Microphase Separation of Diblock Copolymers

  • Rustum ChoksiAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University
  • , Xiaofeng RenAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, Utah State University

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We consider here the problem of phase separation in copolymer melts. The Ohta–Kawasaki density functional theory gives rise to a nonlocal Cahn–Hilliard-like functional, promoting the use of ansatz-free mathematical tools for the investigation of minimizers. In this article we re-derive this functional as an offspring of the self-consistent mean field theory, connecting all parameters to the fundamental material parameters and clearly identifying all the approximations used. As a simple example of an ansatz-free investigation, we calculate the surface tension in the strong segregation limit, independent of any phase geometry.

microphase separation diblock copolymers mean field theory density functional theory