We consider the problem of an ideal polymer confined in a droplet. When the droplet radius is smaller than the (unconfined) polymer radius of gyration, the polymer entropy will depend on the droplet shape. We compute the resulting surface free energy. Using parameters appropriate for polymers confined in microemulsions, we find that the polymer and bending surface energies are comparable for the lowest modes. Finally, we argue that chain self-avoidance will decrease the strength of the polymer contribution to the surface energy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)