Volume 82, Number 4, May 2008
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||25 April 2008|
Interfacial instability of chargedend-group polymer brushes
Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - P.O. Box 653, 84105 Beer-Sheva, Israel
2 Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University - Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
3 Physico Chimie Curie, Institut CurieCentre de Recherche (CNRS UMR 168, Université Paris IV) 26 rue d'Ulm, F-75248, Paris Cedex 05, France, EU
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 25 March 2008
We consider a polymer brush grafted to a surface (acting as an electrode) and bearing a charged group at its free end. Using a second distant electrode, the brush is subject to a constant electric field. Based on a coarse-grained continuum model, we calculate the average brush height and find that the brush can stretch or compress depending on the applied field and charge end-group. We further look at an undulation mode of the flat polymer brush and find that the electrostatic energy scales linearly with the undulation wave number, q. Competition with surface tension, scaling as q2, tends to stabilize a lateral q-mode of the polymer brush with a well-defined wave length. This wavelength depends on the brush height, surface separation, and several system parameters.
PACS: 61.25.H- – Macromolecular and polymers solutions; polymer melts / 41.20.Cv – Electrostatics; Poisson and Laplace equations, boundary-value problems
© EPLA, 2008
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