Morphologies of star-block copolymers in dilute solutions

Yu Jane Sheng, Chih Hsiung Nung, Heng Kwong Tsao

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65 Scopus citations


The morphologies of star-block copolymer (AB)n and (BA) n in a selective solvent for A-block are investigated by using dissipative particle dynamics. For a star-block copolymer of (BA)n type with a large enough arm number n, since the solvophobic B-blocks are situated in the inner part of the star, it behaves as a unimolecular micelle with the B-block core and A-block hairy corona. These types of star copolymers repel each other, thus it is quite difficult to form multimolecular micelles. On the other hand, for a star-block copolymer of (AB)n type, a few aggregative domains develop on the outer rim of the molecule. As the length of B-blocks or the repulsive interaction between B-blocks and solvents is increased, the tendency of B-blocks to associate within the star increases and thus the average number of aggregative domains declines. Owing to the exposure of B-domains, (AB)n type star-blocks tend to form micelles with morphology different from typical micelles. Upon performing simulations for solutions with multiple stars, we have shown that the single molecular conformation may greatly affect the resulting morphology of the supramolecular structure, such as connectedstar aggregate, multicore micelle, segmented worm, and core-lump micelle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21643-21650
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number43
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2006


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