Dissipative particle dynamics simulation study on the binary mixture phase separation coupled with polymerization

J Chem Phys. 2007 Oct 14;127(14):144903. doi: 10.1063/1.2790005.

Abstract

The influence of polymerization on the phase separation of binary immiscible mixtures has been investigated by the dissipative particle dynamics simulations in two dimensions. During polymerization, the bulk viscosity increases, which consequently slows down the spinodal decomposition process. The domain size growth is monitored in the simulations. The absence of 23 exponent for inertial hydrodynamic mechanism clearly reflects the suppressing effect of polymerization on the phase separation. Due to the increasing viscosity, the individual phase may be trapped in a metastable stage instead of the lamellar morphology identified for symmetric mixtures. Moreover, the polymerization induced phase separation in the binary miscible mixture has been studied. The domain growth is strongly dependent on the polymerization probability, which is naturally related to the activation energy for polymerization. The observed complex phase separation behavior is attributed to the interplay between the increasing thermodynamic driving force for phase separation and the increasing viscosity that suppresses phase separation as the polymerization proceeds.