Star Block-Copolymers in Shear Flow

Diego Jaramillo-Cano, Maud Formanek, Christos N. Likos, Manuel Camargo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Star block-copolymers (SBCs) have been demonstrated to constitute self-assembling building blocks with specific softness, functionalization, shape, and flexibility. In this work, we study the behavior of an isolated SBC under a shear flow by means of particle-based multiscale simulations. We systematically analyze the conformational properties of low-functionality stars, as well as the formation of attractive patches on their corona as a function of the shear rate. We cover a wide range of system parameters, including functionality, amphiphilicity, and solvent quality. It is shown that SBCs display a richer structural and dynamical behavior than athermal star polymers in a shear flow [Ripoll Phys. Rev. Lett., 2006, 96, 188302], and, therefore, they are also interesting candidates to tune the viscoelastic properties of complex fluids. We identify three factors of patch reorganization under shear that lead to patch numbers and orientations depending on the shear rate, namely, free arms joining existing patches, fusion of medium-sized patches into bigger ones, and fission of large patches into two smaller ones under high shear rates. Because the conformation of single SBC is expected to be preserved in low-density bulk phases, the presented results are a first step in understanding and predicting the rheological properties of semidilute suspensions of this kind of polymers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4149-4158
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number14
StatePublished - Mar 16 2018
Externally publishedYes


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