The unmixing transition of both symmetrical polymer blends AB (i.e. chain lengthsNA=NB=N) and asymmetrical ones (NB/NA=2,3) is studied by large-scale Monte Carlo simulations of the bond fluctuation model. Combination of semi-grand-canonical simulation techniques, «histogram reweighting» and finitesize scaling allows an accurate location of the coexistence curve in the critical region. The variation of the critical temperature with chain length (N) is studied and compared to theoretical predictions. For the symmetrical case, use of chain lengths up toN=512 allows a rough estimation of crossover scaling functions for the crossover from Ising to mean-field exponents. The order-disorder transitions in melts of both symmetric (compositionf=NA/(NA+NB)=1/2) and asymmetric (f=3/4) block copolymers is studied for very short chains (16≤N≤60). The interplay between structure and chain configuration is emphasized. Qualitative evidence for «dumbell formation» of chains and vacancy enrichment in A-B-interfaces and near hard walls is presented.
Macromolecular and polymer solutions (solubility, swelling, etc.) polymer melts
Critical point phenomena
Monte Carlo and statistical methods
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