Europhys. Lett, 45 (3), pp. 321-326 (1999)
Grafted semiflexible polymers in poor solvents:
tower surface micelles
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 26 October 1998; accepted in final form 25 November 1998)
PACS. 61.25Hq - Macromolecular and polymer solutions; polymer melts; swelling.
PACS. 68.35-p - Solid surfaces and solid solid interfaces.
PACS. 87.15-v - Biomolecules: structure and physical properties.
We study a system of grafted semiflexible polymers chains in the presence of a poor solvent in the limit of low grafting densities. The combination of chain rigidity and the adverse solvent-monomer interaction leads to the formation of two kinds of surface micelles. In marked contrast to the case of flexible chains these micelles will usually not be spherical. For rather stiff or short chains tower-like micelles are expected, while for longer chains toroids can form. Unlike the case of bulk polymer solutions these toroids are the stable equilibrium state of the system and can consist of many chains.