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Abstract

It is known that micelles formed by simple amphiphiles exhibit only a limited range of shapes in equilibrium. However, practical applications may benefit from increased tunability of micelle shape. In this thesis, we consider an approach to micelle shape control where the many amphiphiles of a conventional micelle are replaced by a single, linear, multiblock copolymer. Guided by an intuitive shape-design rationale, we propose to alter the block lengths of this multiblock to control the curvature of the micelle surface.,Using two-dimensional bead-spring simulations, we demonstrate that a long-lived micelle with a nonstandard, dimpled shape can be produced by this strategy. To assess the ease with which shape features may be precisely controlled by the block lengths, we study the effect of changing select aspects of the multiblock composition. We find that the response of the shape is somewhat smooth, but sufficiently irregular that a simple linear model is insufficient to describe the response, so a more sophisticated approach is needed for precise shape design.

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