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A theoretical investigation of the dynamics of photopolymerization-induced phase separation (PIPS) and morphology development in a nematic liquid crystal (LC) polymer network mixture has been undertaken by incorporating photopolymerization kinetics into the coupled time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau (TDGL-Model C) equations. The simulation on the spatio-temporal evolution of the coupled LC concentration and orientation order parameters reveals that both morphological and scattering patterns for the orientation order parameter initially lag behind those of the concentration order parameter. However, the two fields evolve to the same spatial topologies with the progression of time. The PIPS dynamics is characterized only by the late stage of phase separation. We also observed a subtle change in the curvature of the growth curve associated with the onset of nematic ordering. The growth behavior and the simulated morphology consisting of LC droplets dispersed in a matrix of polymer appears the same for all compositions, except that the size gets somewhat larger with increasing LC concentration. Decreasing the rate of reaction increases the size of droplets due to the dominance of structural growth driven by thermal relaxation. Of particular interest is that our simulation captures the observed domain topologies. (C) 2000 American Institute of Physics. [S0021-9606(00)51839-X].

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Journal of Chemical Physics





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Copyright 2000 American Institute of Physics. The original published version of this article may be found at