Conformations of molecular brushes based on polyimide and poly(methyl methacrylate) in selective solvents: Experiment and computer simulation
The effect of solvent quality with respect to main and side chains on the conformations of molecular brushes is investigated by the methods of molecular hydrodynamics and optics as well as by computer simulation. Copolymers with a polyimide backbone and poly(methyl methacrylate) side chains are studied in solvents featuring strongly different thermodynamic qualities (chloroform, ethyl acetate, and 3-heptanone). The studied samples have close total molecular masses and backbone lengths but differ in grafting densities and lengths of side chains: a brush with densely grafted and relatively short side chains versus a brush with loosely grafted but very long side chains. For both types of brushes, similar changes in hydrodynamic behavior with improvement in the solvent quality are found experimentally. Computer simulation shows that these changes have different origins. In the former case, macromolecules are elongated, and their volumes grow simultaneously, while in the latter case, the shape of the macromolecules remains close to spherical and the changes in hydrodynamic parameters are mainly due to an increase in the volume of macromolecules.
KeywordsPMMA Polyimide Polymer Science Series Monomer Unit Intrinsic Viscosity
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