Authors Descas, R. ; Sommer, J.-U. ; Blumen, A.
Title Irreversible adsorption of tethered chains at substrates: Monte Carlo study
Date 27.03.2006
Number 13994
Abstract The irreversible adsorption of single chains grafted with one end to the surface is studied using scaling arguments and computer simulations. We introduce a two-phase model, in which the chain is described by an adsorbate portion and a corona portion formed by nonadsorbed monomers. The adsorption process can be viewed as consisting of a main stage, during which monomers join by "zipping" (along their order in the chain) the surface, and a late stage, in which the remaining corona collapses on the surface. Based on our model we derive a scaling relation for the time of adsorption t(M) as a function of the number M of adsorbed monomers; t(M) follows a power law, Malpha, with alpha>1. We find that alpha is related to the Flory exponent nu by alpha=1+nu. Using further scaling arguments we derive relations between the overall time of adsorption, the characteristic time of adsorption (given by the crossover time between the main and the last stage of adsorption), and the chain length. To support our analysis we perform Monte Carlo simulations using the bond fluctuation model. In particular, the sequence of adsorption events is very well reproduced by the simulations, and an analysis of the various density profiles supports our theoretical model. Especially the loop formation during adsorption clearly shows that the growth of the adsorbate is dominated by zipping. The simulations are also in almost quantitative agreement with our theoretical scaling analysis, showing that here the assumption of a linear relation between Monte Carlo steps and time is well obeyed. We conclude by also discussing the geometrical shape of the adsorbate. ©2006 American Institute of Physics
Publisher Journal of Chemical Physics
Citation Journal of Chemical Physics 124 (2006) 094701-S.1-8

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