Tricontinuous Cubic Structures in ABC/A/C Copolymer and Homopolymer Blends

Tomonari Dotera

Phys. Rev. Lett. 89 (2002), 205502
Fig. 1 was chosen for Nov. 11 cover illustration and appeared on the top pages of PRL and American Physical Society journal web sites for a week.

Using Monte Carlo lattice simulation technique, we present numerical evidence of the formation of gyroid and nongyroid tricontinuous cubic phases in high polymeric systems of ABC/A/C triblock copolymer and homopolymer blends. By increasing the volume fraction of homopolymer, a remarkable phase sequence G (gyroid) → D (diamond) → P (primitive) is observed, which is common to certain surfactant systems. Our results indicate that the ABC triblock copolymer system with blending homopolymers may be a zoo of cubic phases, suitable for comparative studies of these phases.