Structures and Surface States of Polymer Brushes in Good Solvents: Effects of Surface Interactions
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The influence of the surface interaction on the mesoscopic structure of grafted polymers in good solvents has been examined. At high surface coverage, tethered polymers are in the brush state and the parabolic segment density profile is confirmed by self-consistent field theory (SCFT) calculations. It is found that this is a universal behavior for a whole range of surface interactions from complete repulsion to strong attraction. More interestingly, finite surface repulsion may lead to the maximum in the proximal layer of its segment density profile, which is significantly different from both the depletion layer of pure repulsion and the adsorbing layer of attraction. In addition to the brush state on both repulsive and attractive surfaces, three additional surface states were identified by analyzing the scaling behavior of the layer thickness of polymer brushes: the mushroom state on repulsive substrates, the dilute and the semidilute surface states on attractive substrates.
KeywordsSelf-consistent field theory Scaling theory Polymer thin film Polymer brush
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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21004013).
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