Density-functional theory for structure and freezing of star polymer solutions
We use the soft fundamental measure theory (SFMT) to investigate a system of classical particles interacting with the pair potential of star polymers in solution. To that end we calculate liquid and solid structural properties, as well as freezing, solid-to-solid, and remelting phase transitions. Even subtle physical effects, like deviations from Gaussian crystal peaks and an anomalous peak broadening upon increasing density as well as a reasonable vacancy concentration are captured correctly. Good overall quantitative agreement with simulation data is found, however, with a tendency to overestimate the structural correlations. Furthermore, we demonstrate that all recent developments of its hard core counterpart can be incorporated systematically into SFMT.