Authors Romeis, D. ; Merlitz, H. ; Sommer, J.-U.
Title A new numerical approach to dense polymer brushes and surface instabilities
Date 27.01.2012
Number 32042
Abstract We present a numerical self-consistent field (SCF) method which describes freely jointed chains of spherical monomers applied to densely grafted polymer brushes. We discuss both the Flory-Huggins model and the Carnahan-Starling equation of state and show the latter being preferable within our model at polymer volume fractions above 10%. We compare the results of our numerical method with data from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations [G.-L. He, H. Merlitz, J.-U. Sommer, and C.-X. Wu, Macromolecules 40, 6721 (2007)] and analytical SCF calculations [P. M. Biesheuvel, W. M. de Vos, and V. M. Amoskov, Macromolecules 41, 6254 (2008)] and obtain close agreement between the density profiles up to high grafting densities. In contrast to prior numerical and analytical studies of densely grafted polymer brushes our method provides detailed information about chain configurations including fluctuation, depletion, and packing effects. Using our model we could study the recently discovered instability of densely grafted polymer brushes with respect to slight variations of individual chain lengths, driven by fluctuation effects [H. Merlitz, G.-L. He, C.-X. Wu, and J.-U. Sommer, Macromolecules 41, 5070 (2008)]. The obtained results are in very close agreement with corresponding MD simulations. © 2012 American Institute of Physics
Publisher Journal of Chemical Physics
Citation Journal of Chemical Physics 136 (2012) 044903 (9pp)

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