Dissipative particle dynamics simulation on a ternary system with nanoparticles, double-hydrophilic block copolymers, and solvent


Dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations are performed to study the aggregation of hydrophobic nanoparticles in the presence of double-hydrophilic block copolymer (DHBC). A single compact spherical nanoparticle aggregate is formed in the absence of DHBC. The response of the aggregate to a continuous increase in the concentration of DHBC has been investigated in detail. We observe the evolvement from single spherical aggregate, through single ellipsoidal aggregate, single platelike aggregate, single long and curly rod, dispersed aggregates, then to hexagonally packed cylinders, and ultimately to ordered lamellar structures upon slow addition of DHBC chains. However, when nanoparticles and DHBCs are added into the system simultaneously at the beginning of simulation, we only obtain single spherical aggregate, dispersed aggregates, hexagonally packed cylinders, and ordered lamellar structures at different concentrations of DHBC. Phase diagrams of structures against concentration of DHBC are presented for these two methods, and the stabilities of structures obtained with the two methods are compared. © 2008 American Chemical Society.

Publication Title

Journal of Physical Chemistry B