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Langmuir. 2013 Apr 2;29(13):4315-9. doi: 10.1021/la400626x. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

Inherent stretching elasticity of a single polymer chain with a carbon-carbon backbone.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Advanced Technologies of Materials (Ministry of Education), Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China.


We study the single-chain elasticities of three kinds of neutral polymers with a carbon-carbon (C-C) backbone by atomic force microscopy-based single-molecule force spectroscopy in a nonpolar solvent (octane), aiming at measuring the inherent chain elasticity of this very important class of polymers. The finding that the single-chain elasticities of all three polymers in octane are virtually identical in the entire force region implies that the side chains of the polymers have no detectable effects on the single-chain elasticity. By utilizing the single-chain elasticity from quantum mechanics calculations, the freely rotating chain model can provide the best fitting curve when each C-C bond is set to be the rotating unit. Although there are some exceptions when the side chain is very huge, our work provides a general result for the inherent elasticity of single neutral flexible polymer chains with C-C backbones.

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