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Filler-Induced Composition Waves in Phase-Separating Polymer Blends



B P. Lee, Jack F. Douglas, S C. Glotzer


The influence of a dilute concentration of filler particles on polymer blend phase separation is investigated computationally using a generalization of the Cahn-Hilliard-Cook (CHC) theory to include model filler particles (spheres, fibers, platelets). Simulation shows that the selective affinity of one of the polymers for the filler surface leads to the development of concentration waves about the filler particles at an early stage of phase separation in near critical composition blends. These **target** composition patterns are overtaken in late stage phase separation by a growing **background** spinodal pattern characteristic of blend films without filler particles. The linearized CHC model is used to estimate the number of composition oscillations centered about the additive particles. In far-off-critical composition blends, an **encapsulation layer** grows at the interface of the filler rather than a target pattern. The results of these simulations compare favorably with experiments on filled phase separating blends.
Physical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics)
No. 5


filler, phase separation blends, spinodal decomposition, target patterns


Lee, B. , Douglas, J. and Glotzer, S. (1999), Filler-Induced Composition Waves in Phase-Separating Polymer Blends, Physical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics), [online], (Accessed May 22, 2024)


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Created November 1, 1999, Updated February 17, 2017