Authors Su, C. ; Merlitz, H. ; Wu, C.-X. ; Sommer, J.-U.
Title Mixed brush made of 4-arm stars and linear chains: MD simulations
Date 01.12.2016
Number 52389
Abstract We investigate the structural properties of binary polymer brushes, composed of functional 4-armed star polymers and chemically identical linear polymers of different molecular weights. The molecular dynamics simulations confirm recent self-consistent field studies, in which a considerable potential of these systems for the design of switchable surfaces has been claimed. The length of the linear chains serves as a control parameter, which, while passing over a critical value, induces a sharp transition of the molecular conformation. We investigate these transitions at different grafting densities and summarize our findings in a phase diagram. The temperature dependence of the brush structure is investigated in a non-selective solvent, and non-trivial variations of the surface composition are observed. The quantity of these latter effects would be insufficient to build switchable systems, and we argue that a minor quantity of solvent selectivity would suffice to enable the desired feature of an environment-responsive coating.
Publisher Journal of Chemical Physics
Citation Journal of Chemical Physics 145 (2016) Art.No. 234905

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