doi: 10.17586/2226-1494-2015-15-3-493-499


E. B. Zhulina, F. Leermakers, O. V. Borisov

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For citation: Zhulina E.B., Leermakers F.A.M., Borisov O.V. Self-consistent field model of brushes formed by root-tethered dendrons. Scientific and Technical Journal of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics, 2015, vol.15, no. 3, pp. 493–499.


 We present an analytical self-consistent field (scf) theory that describes planar brushes formed by regularly branched root-tethered dendrons of the second and third generations. The developed approach gives the possibility for calculation of the scf molecular potential acting at monomers of the tethered chains. In the linear elasticity regime for stretched polymers, the molecular potential has a parabolic shape with the parameter k depending on architectural parameters of tethered macromolecules: polymerization degrees of spacers, branching functionalities, and number of generations. For dendrons of the second generation, we formulate a general equation for parameter k and analyze how variations in the architectural parameters of these dendrons affect the molecular potential. For dendrons of the third generation, an analytical expression for parameter k is available only for symmetric macromolecules with equal lengths of all spacers and equal branching functionalities in all generations. We analyze how the thickness of dendron brush in a good solvent is affected by variations in the chain architecture. Results of the developed scf theory are compared with predictions of boxlike scaling model. We demonstrate that in the limit of high branching functionalities, the results of both approaches become consistent if the value of exponent bin boxlike model is put to unity.In conclusion, we briefly discuss the systems to which the developed scf theory is applicable. These are: planar and concave spherical and cylindrical brushes under various solvent conditions (including solvent-free melted brushes) and brush-like layers of ionic (polyelectrolyte) dendrons.

Keywords: polymer brush, self-consistent field potential, regularly branched dendron, second and third generations.

Acknowledgements. This research was supported by a Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme Fellowship (PIRSES-GA-2013-612562 - POLION) within the 7th European Community Framework Programme and partially supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Grant 14-03-00372a), by the Department of Chemistry and Material Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences and by the Government of the Russian Federation, Grant 074-U01.

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