Volume 78, Number 2, April 2007
|Number of page(s)||3|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||29 March 2007|
A note on the Flory-Huggins and self-consistent field theories of polymers
School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, University of Manchester - P.O. Box 88, Sackville Street, Manchester M60 1QD, UK
Accepted: 28 February 2007
We consider the relationship between the Flory-Huggins theory of polymer solutions and self-consistent field theory (SCFT). We show that for uniform solutions, the external field in SCFT is related to the excess chemical potential of a polymer chain and that this is approximated by multiplying the number of segments in the chain by the excess chemical potential of a single segment in a fluid of segments. If the excess chemical potential of the segment is taken to be that of a lattice gas in the Bragg-Williams approximation, one regains the Flory-Huggins expression for the Helmholtz energy. In this approach the Flory-Huggins term commonly ascribed to the entropy of mixing of the solvent, arises directly from the chosen form of the segment excess chemical potential. As for SCFT, a result of this work is the clarification of the nature of the mean-field potential and whether solvent entropic effects have or have not already been taken into account.
PACS: 61.25.Hq – Macromolecular and polymer solutions; polymer melts; swelling / 82.60.Fa – Heat capacities and heats of phase transitions
© Europhysics Letters Association, 2007
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