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Comparison of neutral and charged polyelectrolyte bottlebrush polymers in dilute salt-free conditions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 January 2020

Alexandros Chremos*
Affiliation:
Section on Quantitative Imaging and Tissue Sciences, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
Ferenc Horkay
Affiliation:
Section on Quantitative Imaging and Tissue Sciences, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
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Abstract

We investigate the structure of neutral and charged bottlebrush polymers in salt-free solutions at different polymer concentrations. In particular, we use molecular dynamics simulations by utilizing a coarse-grained bead-spring model that includes an explicit solvent and complementary experiments made by small angle neutron scattering (SANS). We find that the charged groups along the side chains exert significant repulsive forces, resulting in polymer swelling and backbone stretching. In addition to the primary polyelectrolyte peak, we find that bottlebrush polymers exhibit an additional peak in the form and static structure factors, a feature that is absent in neutral polymers. We show that this additional peak describes the intra-molecular correlations between the charged side chains.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2020

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