Compression of polymer brushes: quantitative comparison of self-consistent field theory with experiment
Kim, J. U. and Matsen, M. W. (2009) Compression of polymer brushes: quantitative comparison of self-consistent field theory with experiment. Macromolecules, 42 (9). pp. 3430-3432. ISSN 0024-9297
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1021/ma900033p
The self-consistent field theory (SCFT) prediction for the compression force between two semi-dilute polymer brushes is compared to the benchmark experiments of Taunton et al. [Nature, 1988, 332, 712]. The comparison is done with previously established parameters, and without any fitting parameters whatsoever. The SCFT provides a significant quantitative improvement over the classical strong-stretching theory (SST), yielding excellent quantitative agreement with the experiment. Contrary to earlier suggestions, chain fluctuations cannot be ignored for normal experimental conditions. Although the analytical expressions of SST provide invaluable aids to understanding the qualitative behavior of polymeric brushes, the numerical SCFT is necessary in order to provide quantitatively accurate predictions.