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Polymers 2012, 4(1), 240-255; doi:10.3390/polym4010240

Conformational Effects in Non-Stoichiometric Complexes of Two Hyperbranched Molecules with a Linear Polyelectrolyte

1,* , 2
1 Physical Chemistry Laboratory, Chemical Engineering Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece 2 Institute of Macromolecular Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences, Bolshoi Pr. 31, 199004 St. Petersburg, Russia 3 Theory of Polymers and Soft Matter, Department of Applied Physics, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, P.O. Box 513 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 December 2011 / Revised: 22 December 2011 / Accepted: 14 January 2012 / Published: 17 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Hyperbranched Polymers)
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We report results from Brownian dynamics computer simulations of systems comprised by two terminally charged hyperbranched molecules preferentially branched in the periphery, with an oppositely charged linear chain of varying length. Comparison of the findings from the present study to stoichiometric counterparts and to analogous dendrimer-based complexes, reveal that the presence of the second hyperbranched molecule incurs significant changes in the conformational characteristics of both components of the complex. Instead of step-like changes in the average size and shape of the hyperbranched component that were noted in the previously studied stoichiometric systems, a rather smooth change is observed upon increase of the length of the linear component. In addition, a markedly different behavior is also noticed in the conformational characteristics of the linear chain when compared to that in similar dendrimer-based systems. The above findings are consistent with the higher degree of deformability of the peripherally branched molecules which allow appropriate rearrangements in shape in order to accommodate the favorable Coulombic interactions between the two components of the complex. This behavior offers new insight towards the design of more efficient hyperbranched-based systems which can take advantage of the multifunctionality and the structural properties of the highly branched polymer components.
Keywords: hyperbranched; complexes; computer simulations hyperbranched; complexes; computer simulations
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Dalakoglou, G.; Karatasos, K.; Lyulin, S.; Larin, S.; Darinskii, A.; Lyulin, A. Conformational Effects in Non-Stoichiometric Complexes of Two Hyperbranched Molecules with a Linear Polyelectrolyte. Polymers 2012, 4, 240-255.

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