Orientation fluctuation-induced spinodal decomposition in polymer-liquid-crystal mixtures

A Matsuyama, R M L Evans, M E Cates

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We study the early stages of spinodal decomposition (SD) in polymer-liquid-crystal mixtures by solving linearized time-dependent Landau-Ginzburg equations for concentration (conserved order parameter) and orientation (nonconserved order parameter). The theory takes into account a cross term between concentration and orientation gradients, which becomes an important factor for phase separation kinetics. We calculate structure factors for concentration and for orientation, depending on a quench temperature and concentration. We find a new SD process driven by instability of the orientational order parameter. In this case, the average domain size initially grows as a nontrivial and evolving power of time, which starts as t(1/3) in our minimal model. The domain growth is advanced by the coupling between the two order parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2977-2986
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical review. E, Statistical physics, plasmas, fluids, and related interdisciplinary topics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000

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