Hydrogen-bonded aggregates in precise acid copolymers

CA Lueth and DS Bolintineanu and MJ Stevens and AL Frischknecht, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 140, 054902 (2014).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4863326

We perform atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of melts of four precise acid copolymers, two poly(ethylene-co-acrylic acid) (PEAA) copolymers, and two poly(ethylene-co-sulfonic acid) (PESA) copolymers. The acid groups are spaced by either 9 or 21 carbons along the polymer backbones. Hydrogen bonding causes the acid groups to form aggregates. These aggregates give rise to a low wavevector peak in the structure factors, in agreement with X-ray scattering data for the PEAA materials. The structure factors for the PESA copolymers are very similar to those for the PEAA copolymers, indicating a similar distance between aggregates which depends on the spacer length but not on the nature of the acid group. The PEAA copolymers are found to form more dimers and other small aggregates than do the PESA copolymers, while the PESA copolymers have both more free acid groups and more large aggregates. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.

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