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Soft Matter and Biological Physics

Eur. Phys. J. E 4, 93-101

Stiffness and conformations of molecular bottle-brushes strongly adsorbed on a flat surface

I.I. Potemkin1, A.R. Khokhlov1 and P. Reineker2.

1  Physics Department, Moscow State University, Moscow, 117234 Russia
2  Department of Theoretical Physics, University of Ulm, 89069 Ulm, Germany


(Received 13 April 2000 and Received in final form 18 August 2000)

A theory of the conformational behavior and analysis of the persistence length of molecular bottle-brushes strongly adsorbed on a flat surface in a good solvent is presented. For long enough side chains we have shown that the adsorption of a small fraction of side chains already leads to significant increase of the stiffness and drastic conformational changes of the brush in comparison with the 3D case. For a symmetrical distribution of the adsorbed side chains with respect to the backbone, the equilibrium conformation of the brush is close to a rod-like one due to the very large stiffness of the molecule. Under certain conditions the excluded-volume interactions of the side chains of an asymmetrical brush can lead to its bending or twisting in spiral. The obtained results are in good agreement with computer simulations.

61.25.Hq - Macromolecular and polymer solutions; polymer melts; swelling.
61.20.Gy - Theory and models of liquid structure.

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2001