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Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

PI: David C. Morse, Associate Fellow

Computational Polymer Physics

These researchers are carrying out a continuing program of computational research in polymer physics that focuses on elucidating molecular origins of the properties of novel polymer solutions and melts, polymer mixtures, and self-assembled structures of block copolymers. This research is currently focused on two areas.

In the first area, group studies the self-assembly of systems that contain block copolymers. Much of the group’s work in this area relies on a self-consistent field theory of polymer conformations in inhomogeneous systems. They are focusing on self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers in water and on certain complex morphologies of multi-block copolymer melts.

The second area uses molecular simulations to study the limitations of the self-consistent field approximation for the thermodynamics of polymer liquids and diblock copolymer melts, and of the random phase approximation (RPA) theory of composition fluctuations. This work involves extensive Monte Carlo simulations of simple models of polymer mixtures and diblock copolymer melts. Results of several models are compared to each other and to a theory developed in this group that predicts systematic corrections to the RPA.

Group Members

Jun Kyung Chung, Graduate Student
Jian Qin, Graduate Student
Raghuram Thiagarajan, Graduate Student