Finite-stretching corrections to the Milner-Witten-Cates theory for polymer brushes
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- Finite-stretching corrections to the Milner-Witten-Cates theory for polymer brushes
- Kim, Jaeup U.; Matsen, M. W.
- Entropic repulsion; Milner-Witten-Cates theory; Translational entropy
- Issue Date
- EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL E, v.23, no.2, pp.135 - 144
- This paper investigates finite-stretching corrections to the classical Milner-Witten-Cates theory for semi-dilute polymer brushes in a good solvent. The dominant correction to the free energy originates from an entropic repulsion caused by the impenetrability of the grafting surface, which produces a depletion of segments extending a distance μ L -1 from the substrate, where L is the classical brush height. The next most important correction is associated with the translational entropy of the chain ends, which creates the well-known tail where a small population of chains extend beyond the classical brush height by a distance ξ L -1/3. The validity of these corrections is confirmed by quantitative comparison with numerical self-consistent field theory.
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