Dendritic brushes under theta and poor solvent conditions

LN Gergidis and A Kalogirou and A Charalambopoulos and C Vlahos, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 139, 044913 (2013).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4816709

The effects of solvent quality on the internal stratification of polymer brushes formed by dendron polymers up to third generation were studied by means of molecular dynamics simulations with Langevin thermostat. The distributions of polymer units, of the free ends, the radii of gyration, and the back folding probabilities of the dendritic spacers were studied at the macroscopic states of theta and poor solvent. For high grafting densities we observed a small decrease in the height of the brush as the solvent quality decreases. The internal stratification in theta solvent was similar to the one we found in good solvent, with two and in some cases three kinds of populations containing short dendrons with weakly extended spacers, intermediate-height dendrons, and tall dendrons with highly stretched spacers. The differences increase as the grafting density decreases and single dendron populations were evident in theta and poor solvent. In poor solvent at low grafting densities, solvent micelles, polymeric pinned lamellae, spherical and single chain collapsed micelles were observed. The scaling dependence of the height of the dendritic brush at high density brushes for both solvents was found to be in agreement with existing analytical results. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

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