Conformation of poly(L-lysine)-graft-poly(ethylene glycol) molecular brushes in aqueous solution studied by small-angle neutron scattering
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Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) has been employed for the analysis of conformations of poly(L-lysine)-graft-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLL-g -PEG) molecular bottle brushes in aqueous solutions. The degree of polymerisation of the PEG chains was systematically varied in order to unravel dependence of the conformational properties of the bottle brushes on the molecular weight of the grafted chains. The grafting density was kept constant and high enough to ensure strong overlap of the PEG chains. The scattering spectra were fitted on the basis of the model of an effective worm-like chain with the account of average radial distribution and local fluctuations of the PEG density in the bottle brush. The results of the fits indicate that molecular brushes retain weakly bent configuration on the length scale of the order of (or larger than) the brush thickness. This finding is in agreement with earlier simulation and recent theoretical results.
PACS.61.25.Hq Macromolecular and polymer solutions; polymer melts; swelling 82.35.Rs Polyelectrolytes
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