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Eur Phys J E Soft Matter. 2002 Nov;9(3):293-8.

Scaling concepts for polymer brushes and their test with computer simulation.

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Institut für Physik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Staudinger Weg 7, 55099 Mainz, Germany.


After a brief review of the scaling concepts for static and dynamic properties of polymer brushes in good solvents and Theta solvents, the Monte Carlo evidence is discussed. It is shown that under typical conditions the diameter of the last blob is of the order of 10-20% of the brush height, and therefore pronounced deviations from the self-consistent field predictions occur. In bad solvents, lateral microphase separation occurs leading to an irregular pattern of "dimples". Particularly interesting is the response of brushes to shear deformation, and the interaction between two interpenetrating brushes. Recent attempts to understand the resulting shear forces via molecular-dynamics simulations are briefly described, and an outlook on related experiments is given.


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