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Zipping and collapse of diblock copolymers

Abstract

Using exact enumeration methods and Monte Carlo simulations we study the phase diagram relative to the conformational transitions of a two dimensional diblock copolymer. The polymer is made of two homogeneous strands of monomers of different species which are joined to each other at one end. We find that depending on the values of the energy parameters in the model, there is either a first order collapse from a swollen to a compact phase of spiral type, or a continuous transition to an intermediate zipped phase followed by a first order collapse at lower temperatures. Critical exponents of the zipping transition are computed and their exact values are conjectured on the basis of a mapping onto percolation geometry, thanks to recent results on path-crossing probabilities.Comment: 12 pages, RevTeX and 14 PostScript figures include

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