Phase Separation in Block Copolymer Systems: Paradigms for Multiscale Phase Separation

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 11:00am - 11:50am
EE/CS 3-180
Rustum Choksi (Simon Fraser University)
Systems of block copolymers are paradigms for phase separation on several scales and display a wide range of geometric structures. Their remarkable ability for self-assembly (in the melt phase) into various ordered structures aids in the construction of many so called designer materials; Indeed, these geometrical structures are key to the many properties that make diblock copolymers of great technological interest.

This talk will be devoted to certain macroscopic models for phase separation in diblock copolymer melts and homopolymer blends, their derivation, and the mathematical questions that arise. In particular, within the context of these models I will discuss both the periodicity and scale of these patterns, and their geometry. The latter appears to be closely related to the periodic isoperimetric problem which, in three dimensions, remains an open problem in classical geometry.

Parts of the talk will cover joint work with X. Ren (Utah State University), joint work with G. Alberti (University of Pisa) and F. Otto (University of Bonn), and work in progress with P. Sternberg (Indiana University).