The structure of brushes made of dendrimers: Recent advances

CW Li and H Merlitz and CX Wu and JU Sommer, POLYMER, 98, 437-447 (2016).

DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2016.03.018

In recent publications, a couple of theoretical models, ranging from simple scaling approaches and boxlike mean-field models to self- consistent field techniques, have been proposed to describe the structure of brushes that are composed of dendrimers. In this work, we carry out molecular dynamics simulations in various density regimes, and compare the resulting data with predictions of the latest theoretical models. This study enables us to access the ranges of validity and accuracy of the respective models, as well as their shortcomings. Significant differences in the predicted conformations of the dendrimers are observed and analyzed in the context of their elastic properties in the different models. This work offers guidelines for future research directions, which may lead to further progress regarding the understanding of branched polymer brushes. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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