Statistical Properties of a Polymer Chain in the Environment with Low Concentration of Nanoparticles

DA Tsehay and MB Luo, ACTA PHYSICA POLONICA A, 133, 1274-1280 (2018).

DOI: 10.12693/APhysPolA.133.1274

We have investigated the statistical properties of polymer in the environment with low concentration of nanoparticles by using large-scale molecular dynamics simulations. The scaling law for the mean square radius of gyration was examined and simulation results for the polymer lengths 6 4 <= N <= 1 4 4 yielding a reasonably accurate value of the Flory exponent nu = 0.58 at weak polymer-nanoparticle interaction epsilon(PN). Within the same range of N, the mean asphericity of the chain is independent of N. We found that the polymer behaves like a self-avoiding walk chain at small epsilon(PN) and a compact sphere at large epsilon(PN). The results are attributed to the increase in the contact between polymer and nanoparticles with increasing epsilon(PN). Normal diffusions of polymer are always observed at whatever epsilon(PN) and size and concentration of nanoparticles. Our result shows that the normal diffusion behavior of polymer is independent of polymer's state even though there is a phase transition from a desorbed polymer phase at small epsilon(PN) to an adsorbed polymer phase at large epsilon(PN).

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