Brownian Dynamics Simulations of Macromolecules: Algorithm Development and Polymers under Confinement
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
In this thesis I have used computer simulations to study the structure and dynamics of grafted polymers during confinement. These systems are of importance for understanding e.g. colloidal stability and surface coatings. We have used Brownian dynamics simulations with the polymers modeled as discrete wormlike chains allowing for a variable persistence length as well as different non-bonded interactions. The size and shape of the chains are characterized by the radius of gyration and the degree of oblateness/prolateness, and the entanglement is followed by calculating the mean overcrossing number. Starting in the dilute regime with a single polymer mushroom we have investigated how the rate of compression and solvent quality effects the behaviour of a compressed chain. In the brush regime, we investigated how the surface coverage effects the behaviour during compression. For low coverages the chains have the possibilty to increase their lateral extension during confinement but in general, the chains have a low inter-entanglement, as they strive to keep their integrity during the confinement process.
To go from a polymer brush to the construction of a connected network, we have developed a method to construct a closed network without using periodic boundary conditions by building the network on a sphere in R4. In this way we avoid the restrictions of periodicity at the cell boundaries. We finally also show how to develop the idea of using spherical boundary conditions, by presenting a novel algorithm for simulating diffusion on a spherical surface. The method is more stable and allows for larger time steps, compared to commonly used methods in computer simulations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2012. , 58 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 937
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-173435ISBN: 978-91-554-8377-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-173435DiVA: diva2:517608
2012-06-04, Å2001, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Briels, Wim, Professor
Elvingson, Christer, Docent
List of papers