Support: EPSRC CASE (2005-2009), Royal Society (2006, 2007, 2008), HPC-Europa (2007, 2008, 2009), Royal Society of Chemistry (2009, 2010), Nuffield Foundation (2010), UCLan
Block copolymers (BCP) are long chain molecules consisting of several chemically different blocks. Due to the chemical nature of the bond between blocks they do not macrophase, but form various structures on the nano-scale. We focus on two topics: confinements and external fields (electric, shear). In real practice BCP are often found in thin films (of the thickness of several structural domains), and most recently – in nano-pores. Confined structures are found to be very different from the bulk ones. Manipulation by the external electric field is a way of the nanostructure alignment. Kinetics of this process can be different depending on the field strength. Computer simulations are based on two models: a Ginzburg-Landau type description and self-consistent field theory for polymers. Computer simulations are compared with experimental data.