A Continuum Model for Morphology Formation from Interacting Ternary Mixtures
The complex patterns generated by interacting particle mixtures play a key role in the design and efficiency of organic solar cells. Is it possible to develop a continuum model which accurately describes physical interactions of the particle system to simulate this pattern (morphology) formation?
We are interested in exploring the capability of interacting mixtures of populations of particles, typically two different solutes mixed within a solvent, to allow for phase separation while the solvent evaporates. In particular, we have in mind two specific materials science applications: the formation of internal morphologies for organic solar cells; and the formation of rubber–based zones in acrylate environments related to the design of thin adhesive bands. Our main questions are as follows:
- How can one construct a continuum model which describes the interaction and evaporation processes?
- For which initial conditions, if any, does the model allow for morphology formation?
- How do the patterns of the morphologies relate to the patterns seen in lab experiments and in previously established stochastic models?
- How do these morphologies change over time?
- What mathematical properties can we expect from the solutions of the model?
We study these question both from a numerical and an analytical perspective.
This work is the result of funding from the Carl Tryggers Foundation for Scientific Research (grant nr. CTS 21:1656).