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Field theoretic simulations of block copolymers at realistic molecular weights

Block copolymers are known for their elaborate microphase separating capabilities. Due to the many tuning parameters a predictive modelling approach is required. Molecular dynamics for such large system sizes is expensive. On the other hand, self-consistent field theory is capable of simulating much larger systems, but its mean-field based approximation only becomes correct when the chain density becomes unrealistically high. As a result some experimental effects such as a first order order-to-disorder phase transition are not reproduced. Field-theoretic simulations, where fields are not constrained to their mean field value but allowed to fluctuate, bridge the gap between these methods. I will give an introduction into this method, with some of the associated phenomena such as the ultraviolet divergence, and successful applications in symmetric block copolymers and block copolymer-homopolymer blends. [mehr]
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