Self-assembly in densely grafted macromolecules with amphiphilic monomer units: diagram of states

AA Lazutin and VV Vasilevskaya and AR Khokhlov, SOFT MATTER, 13, 8525-8533 (2017).

DOI: 10.1039/c7sm01560g

By means of computer modelling, the self-organization of dense planar brushes of macromolecules with amphiphilic monomer units was addressed and their state diagram was constructed. The diagram of states includes the following regions: disordered position of monomer units with respect to each other, strands composed of a few polymer chains and lamellae with different domain spacing. The transformation of lamellae structures with different domain spacing occurred within the intermediate region and could proceed through the formation of so-called parking garage structures. The parking garage structure joins the lamellae with large (on the top of the brushes) and small (close to the grafted surface) domain spacing, which appears like a system of inclined locally parallel layers connected with each other by bridges. The parking garage structures were observed for incompatible A and B groups in selective solvents, which result in aggregation of the side B groups and dense packing of amphiphilic macromolecules in the restricted volume of the planar brushes.

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