Authors Sommer, J.-U. ; Klos, J. ; Mironova, O.
Title Adsorption of branched and dendritic polymers onto flat surfaces: A Monte Carlo study
Date 23.12.2013
Number 41282
Abstract Using Monte Carlo simulations based on the bond fluctuation model we study the adsorption of starburst dendrimers with flexible spacers onto a flat surface. The calculations are performed for various generation number G and spacer length S in a wide range of the reduced temperature t as the measure of the interaction strength between the monomers and the surface. Our simulations indicate a two-step adsorption scenario. Below the critical point of adsorption, t c , a weakly adsorbed state of the dendrimer is found. Here, the dendrimer retains its shape but sticks to the surface by adsorbed spacers. By lowering the temperature below a spacer-length dependent value, t*(S) < t c , a step-like transition into a strongly adsorbed state takes place. In the flatly adsorbed state the shape of the dendrimer is well described by a mean field model of a dendrimer in two dimensions. We also performed simulations of star-polymers which display a simple crossover-behavior in full analogy to linear chains. By analyzing the order parameter of the adsorption transition, we determine the critical point of adsorption of the dendrimers which is located close to the critical point of adsorption for star-polymers. While the order parameter for the adsorbed spacers displays a critical crossover scaling, the overall order parameter, which combines both critical and discontinuous transition effects, does not display simple scaling. The step-like transition from the weak into the strong adsorbed regime is confirmed by analyzing the shape-anisotropy of the dendrimers. We present a mean-field model based on the concept of spacer adsorption which predicts a discontinuous transition of dendrimers due to an excluded volume barrier. The latter results from an increased density of the dendrimer in the flatly adsorbed state which has to be overcome before this state is thermodynamically stable. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC
Publisher Journal of Chemical Physics
Citation Journal of Chemical Physics 139 (2013) 244903

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