Europhys. Lett.
Volume 71, Number 4, August 2005
Page(s) 639 - 645
Section Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 14 July 2005
Europhys. Lett., 71 (4), pp. 639-645 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10121-4

How does the pattern of grafting points influence the structure of one-component and mixed polymer brushes?

L. Wenning1, M. Müller2 and K. Binder1

1  Institut für Physik, WA331, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität - 55099 Mainz, Germany
2  Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison 1150 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706-1390, USA

received 13 May 2005; accepted in final form 20 June 2005
published online 14 July 2005

Using Monte Carlo simulations of a coarse-grained bead-spring model we study the lateral structure formation of one-component polymer brushes in a bad solvent and of a mixed polymer brush upon increasing the incompatibility of the two species. We compare the morphology of the brush with a regular distribution of grafting points and with a random arrangement. Density or composition fluctuations of the grafting points enhance the formation of irregular structures but randomness prevents the formation of long-range order. Even small fluctuations of the grafting points are sufficient to pin the lateral structures of the brush.

64.60.Cn - Order-disorder transformations; statistical mechanics of model systems.
64.70.Nd - Structural transitions in nanoscale materials.
61.25.Hq - Macromolecular and polymer solutions; polymer melts; swelling.

© EDP Sciences 2005