Polydisperse Polymer-Tethered Nanospheres in the Double Gyroid Phase

Carolyn Phillips, University of Michigan

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Recent simulations have shown that aggregating nanospheres functionalized with polymer tethers can self-assemble to form the double gyroid phase previously seen in block copolymer systems. We study the impact of nanosphere polydispersity on both static and dynamic properties of the gyroid. We show that a low amount of polydispersity lowers the energy of the double gyroid phase. A large amount of polydispersity reverses this trend, introduces heterogeneous nanosphere dynamics, and eventually, destabilizes the gyroid. We also introduce a new measure for determining the compactness of a component in a microphase separated system based on the voronoi tesselation

Abstract Author(s): Carolyn Phillips, Chris Iacovella, Sharon Glotzer