An analytical coarse-graining method which preserves the free energy, structural correlations, and thermodynamic state of polymer melts from the atomistic to the mesoscale
J McCarty and AJ Clark and J Copperman and MG Guenza, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 140, 204913 (2014).
Structural and thermodynamic consistency of coarse-graining models across multiple length scales is essential for the predictive role of multi-scale modeling and molecular dynamic simulations that use mesoscale descriptions. Our approach is a coarse-grained model based on integral equation theory, which can represent polymer chains at variable levels of chemical details. The model is analytical and depends on molecular and thermodynamic parameters of the system under study, as well as on the direct correlation function in the k -> 0 limit, c(0). A numerical solution to the PRISM integral equations is used to determine c(0), by adjusting the value of the effective hard sphere diameter, d(HS), to agree with the predicted equation of state. This single quantity parameterizes the coarse-grained potential, which is used to perform mesoscale simulations that are directly compared with atomistic- level simulations of the same system. We test our coarsegraining formalism by comparing structural correlations, isothermal compressibility, equation of state, Helmholtz and Gibbs free energies, and potential energy and entropy using both united atom and coarse- grained descriptions. We find quantitative agreement between the analytical formalism for the thermodynamic properties, and the results of Molecular Dynamics simulations, independent of the chosen level of representation. In the mesoscale description, the potential energy of the soft-particle interaction becomes a free energy in the coarse- grained coordinates which preserves the excess free energy from an ideal gas across all levels of description. The structural consistency between the united-atom and mesoscale descriptions means the relative entropy between descriptions has been minimized without any variational optimization parameters. The approach is general and applicable to any polymeric system in different thermodynamic conditions. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.
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