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J Chem Phys. 2013 Jan 21;138(3):034902. doi: 10.1063/1.4774386.

Theory of liquid crystalline micelles.

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Department of Bioscience and Bioinformatics, Faculty of Computer Science and Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Kawazu 680-4, Iizuka, Fukuoka 820-8502, Japan.


A theory is introduced to describe self-assembly of liquid crystalline AB diblock copolymers, consisting of a homopolymer (A) and a side-chain liquid crystalline polymer (B). We derive the free energy of the liquid crystalline micellar solutions and examine the equilibrium solution properties: critical micelle concentration (CMC), nematic-isotropic phase transition (NIT) of the rigid side-chains inside the micelle core, and phase separations. It is shown that there is a critical micelle size below which the NIT becomes continuous due to a packing effect. We also find re-entrant micellizations near the NIT temperature. The phase diagrams, including binodal, spinodal, CMC, and NIT curves are also examined on the temperature-concentration plane.

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