The European Physical Journal E

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Molecular dynamics simulations of end-grafted centipede-like polymers with stiff charged side chains

Regular Article

Abstract.

We use molecular dynamics simulations to investigate centipede-like polymers with stiff charged side chains, end-grafted to a planar wall. The effect of the grafting density and the Bjerrum length on the conformational behaviour of the brush is examined in detail. In addition, we make a comparison of centipede-like polyelectrolyte (CPE) brushes with neutral centipede-like polymer (NCP) and linear polyelectrolyte (LPE) brushes. At weak electrostatic interaction, the main chains of the CPE chains adopt a strongly stretched conformation, and the monomer density profiles of side chains exhibit a clear oscillatory behaviour. With increasing Bjerrum length, the CPE brush undergoes a collapse transition. Compared to the CPE brushes, the counterion condensation effect is stronger for the LPE brushes, regardless of whether the electrostatic interaction is weak or strong and of whether the grafting density is low or high. Additionally, it is shown that the architecture of the grafted chains makes a weak contribution to the counterion condensation at strong electrostatic interaction. We also find that the electrostatic repulsion between charged side chains can enhance the stiffness of the main chains and thus limit the range of movement of the free-end monomers.

Keywords

Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization Main Chain Polymer Brush Strong Electrostatic Interaction Grafting Density 

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Mechanical Science and EngineeringJilin UniversityChangchunP.R.China

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