Heterogeneous Particles with Isotropic Interactions: Investigating the Effect of Multiple Species and Particle Size Disparity on Self-Assembly
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There is much interest in using self-assembly to build materials at the microscopic level by using soft matter systems such as block copolymers and DNA coated colloids. Self-consistent field theory (SCFT) has seen much success in examining the equilibrium structure of polymer systems. We have designed a model using SCFT that describes a system of isotropically interacting particles. This model can be used a starting point to exploring different types of soft matter systems that exhibit self-assembly. This approach is a quick and efficient approach to finding equilibrium structures, and can be used as a high throughput method for finding equilibrium structures. We present here two different systems: a triblock star polymer and a colloidal system. We show that our approach, while extremely coarse grained can replicate the robust phases of those systems. In the triblock copolymer system we can show that the honeycomb lattice phase, the lamella phase and the lamella with beads phase are easily obtained. We compare the phases found in our model to the most common phases found using SCFT for polymers systems. In the colloidal system, we can replicate some of properties of a large colloidal particle surrounded by a solution of much smaller solution particles.