Friday, April 26, 2013

1304.6829 (R. H. Tromp et al.)

Tension, rigidity and preferential curvature of interfaces between
coexisting polymer solutions

R. H. Tromp, E. M. Blokhuis
The properties of the interface in a phase-separated solution of polymers with different degrees of polymerization and Kuhn segment lengths are calculated. The starting point is the planar interface, the profile of which is calculated in the so-called 'blob model', which incorporates the solvent in an implicit way. The next step is the study of a metastable droplet phase formed by imposing a chemical potential different from that at coexistence. The pressure difference across the curved interface, which corresponds to this higher chemical potential, is used to calculate the curvature properties of the droplet. Interfacial tensions, Tolman lengths and rigidities are calculated and used for predictions for a realistic experimental case. The results suggest that interfaces between phase-separated solutions of polymers exhibit, in general, a preferential curvature, which stabilizes droplets of low molecular mass polymer in a high molecular mass macroscopic phase.
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