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Accounting for the ultraviolet divergence in field-theoretic simulations of block copolymer melts.

This study examines the ultraviolet (UV) divergence in field-theoretic simulations (FTSs) of block copolymer melts, which causes an unphysical dependence on the grid resolution, Δ, used to represent the fields. Our FTSs use the discrete Gaussian-chain model and a partial saddle-point approximation to enforce incompressibility. Previous work has demonstrated that the UV divergence can be accounted for by defining an effective interaction parameter, χ=zχ+cχ +cχ +⋯, in terms of the bare interaction parameter, χ, used in the FTSs, where the coefficients of the expansion are determined by a Morse calibration. However, the need to use different grid resolutions for different ordered phases generally restricts the calibration to the linear approximation, χ ≈ zχ, and prevents the calculation of order-order transitions. Here, we resolve these two issues by showing how the nonlinear calibration can be translated between different grids and how the UV divergence can be removed from free energy calculations. By doing so, we confirm previous observations from particle-based simulations. In particular, we show that the free energy closely matches self-consistent field theory (SCFT) predictions, even in the region where fluctuations disorder the periodic morphologies, and similarly, the periods of the ordered phases match SCFT predictions, provided the SCFT is evaluated with the nonlinear χ.
M W Matsen, T M Beardsley, J D Willis

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