The Equilibrium Theory of Inhomogeneous Polymers provides an introduction to the field-theoretic methods and computer simulation techniques that are used in the design of structured polymeric fluids. By such methods, the principles that dictate equilibrium self-assembly in systems ranging from block and graft copolymers, to polyelectrolytes, liquid crystalline polymers, and polymer nanocomposites can be established. Building on an introductory discussion of single-polymer statistical mechanics, the book provides a detailed treatment of analytical and numerical techniques for addressing the conformational properties of polymers subjected to spatially-varying potential fields. This problem is shown to be central to the field-theoretic description of interacting polymeric fluids, and models for a number of important polymer systems are elaborated. Chapter 5 serves to unify and expound the topic of self-consistent field theory, which is a collection of analytical and numerical techniques for obtaining solutions of polymer field theory models in the mean-field approximation. The concluding Chapter 6 provides a discussion of analytical methods for going beyond the mean-field approximation and an introduction to the exciting new field of field-theoretic polymer simulations - the direct numerical simulation of polymer field theory models. No other book brings together in such a detailed and instructive fashion the theoretical and numerical tools for investigating the equilibrium structure and thermodynamics of meso-structured polymer formulations, including those relevant to soft material nanotechnologies, personal care products, and multiphase plastic materials.
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