Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Grafted Layers of Bottle-Brush Polyelectrolytes

JMY Carrillo and AV Dobrynin, LANGMUIR, 26, 18374-18381 (2010).

DOI: 10.1021/la103229u

Using molecular dynamics simulations, we study the effect of the brush grafting density and degree of polymerization of the side chains on conformations of brush layers made of charged bottle-brush macromolecules. The thickness of the brush layer first decreases with increasing brush grafting density; then, it saturates and remains constant in the wide interval of the brush grafting densities. The brush layers consisting of the bottle-brush macromolecules with longer side chains have a larger layer thickness. The elongation of the side chains of the bottle-brush macromolecules decreases with increasing brush grafting density. This contraction of the side chains is due to counterion condensation inside the volume occupied by boy:le-brushes. Our simulations showed that counterion condensation is a multiscale process reflecting different symmetries of the bottle-brush layer.

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