Semianalytical Mean-Field Model for Starlike Polymer Brushes in Good Solvent

H Merlitz and W Cui and CX Wu and JU Sommer, MACROMOLECULES, 46, 1248-1252 (2013).

DOI: 10.1021/ma302417j

We present a semianalytical continuum-space model of starlike polymer brushes in good solvent. Our approach is based on a modified Carnahan- Starling equation of state for hard spheres and accounts for finite extensibility of the bonds. No free fit parameters are required, and the model is able to reproduce the recently observed two-population structure of starlike polymer brushes. We further demonstrate why a simple approach, based on Gaussian chain elasticity, fails to approximate dendrimer brushes. The accuracy of our novel approach, which is filling a gap between oversimplified analytical models and numerically sophisticated, lattice-based codes, is verified through comparison with molecular dynamics simulations.

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