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End-anchored polymers in good solvents from the single chain limit to high anchoring densities



Gary S. Grest, Jack F. Douglas, Mike S. Kent, M Whitmore


We provide a unified description of polymer brushes anchored to flat, repulsive surfaces in good solvents, for systems ranging from the one limit of an isolated chain through to the opposite limit of very high anchoring densities, based on molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations, numerical self-consistent field (SCF) theory, and experimental results. These systems span more than two orders of magnitude in chain length, and include both very good (nearly athermal) and marginally good (near Θ) solvents. We also compare our results with renormalization group theory for single chains, and with analytic SCF theory for higher densities. We find that the brush height depends on anchoring density, σ, at all finite σ, so that there is no ‘mushroom' regime in which the brush height is independent of σ and no finite overlap threshold below which the inter-chain interactions disappear, and no high coverage ‘brush' regime where the thickness scales as Nσ1=3 as predicted by classical "brush" models.
Journal of Chemical Physics


grafted polymer layer, layer thickness, renormalization group, self-consistent field theory, brush


Grest, G. , Douglas, J. , Kent, M. and Whitmore, M. (2016), End-anchored polymers in good solvents from the single chain limit to high anchoring densities, Journal of Chemical Physics (Accessed February 23, 2024)
Created November 6, 2016, Updated October 12, 2021