Single-chain folding of a quenched isotactic polypropylene chain through united atom molecular dynamics simulations

K Hagita and S Fujiwara, POLYMER, 183, UNSP 121861 (2019).

DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2019.121861

The single-chain folding of an isotactic polypropylene (iPP) chain through united atom (UA) molecular dynamics simulations under quenching was investigated using force fields (FFs) based on TraPPE-UA. We estimated the degree of local rigidity of the folded chain along iPP undergoing single-chain folding. To maintain the tacticity of iPP, we introduced improper torsional angle potentials and/or explicit hydrogen atoms bonded to backbone carbon atoms. In the simulation using modified TraPPE-UA FFs with added hydrogen atoms, folded structures were observed. In the cases using modified TraPPE-UA FFs with only improper torsional potentials, folding of the quenched iPP chain was not observed. Moreover, to clarify the folding behavior of the iPP chain, we studied the chirality of a single iPP chain and subsequently observed spontaneous chirality selection during the quenched folding process. We also examined the effect of the angle and torsional potentials of the added hydrogen on the folding behavior of a single iPP chain into local crystals. Therefore, we confirmed that the strength of the angle and torsional potentials contributed to the acceleration of the folding behavior.

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