Europhys. Lett, 48 (5), pp. 540-546 (1999)
Collapse of semi-flexible brushes in poor solvents: Tilting and bending
J. N. Bright and D. R. M. Williams
Research School of Physical Sciences,
Institute of Advanced Studies
The Australian National University - Canberra ACT 0200, Australia
(received 5 July 1999; accepted in final form 7 October 1999)
PACS. 61.25Hq - Macromolecular and polymer
solutions; polymer melts; swelling.
PACS. 87.15 - Biomolecules: structure and physical properties.
We study the problem of a semi-flexible polymer brush immersed in a poor solvent and show that the brush is unstable to collapse. We are able to solve the problem exactly by mapping it onto one of a classical particle in a known potential. In contrast to the case of flexible chains, the free-energy costs of bending may result in a sharp transition to a stable tilted and bent phase.
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