Does symmetry of branching affect the properties of dendrimers?
Statistical properties of second- to sixth- generation dendrimers with symmetric and asymmetric branching were investigated via Langevin dynamics in dilute solutions with the use of a coarse-grained model. The cases of charged and neutral terminal groups are discussed. Steric interactions were controlled by repulsive forces, a circumstance that corresponded to an athermal solvent. Electrostatic interactions were taken into account via the Ewald method. The size and shape of macromolecules; the density profiles for monomer units and, separately, for terminal groups; and the effective charge of a dendrimer as a function of the generation number were determined. It is shown that the equilibrium characteristics of dendrimers with symmetric and asymmetric branching are similar if the average lengths of their spacers coincide. Branching asymmetry appeared itself only in increased “turning back” of short spacers relative to their longer neighbors’ arising from the same branching point.
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