In micellar surfactant solutions, changes in the total number of micelles are rare events that can occur by either of two mechanisms - by stepwise association and dissociation via insertion and expulsion of individual molecules or by fission and fusion of entire micelles. Molecular dynamics simulations are used here to estimate rates of these competing mechanisms in a simple model of block copolymer micelles in homopolymer solvent. This model exhibits a crossover with increasing degree of repulsion between solvent and micelle core components, from a regime dominated by association and dissociation to a regime dominated by fission and fusion.
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- Journal Article