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Open AccessArticle

Grafting-Induced Structural Ordering of Lactide Chains

1
Institute of Macromolecular Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences, Bolshoj pr. 31 (V.O.), 199004 St. Petersburg, Russia
2
Institute of Physics, Nanotechnology and Telecommunications, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, Polytechnicheskaya st. 29, 195251 St. Petersburg, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 2056; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122056
Received: 7 November 2019 / Revised: 6 December 2019 / Accepted: 9 December 2019 / Published: 11 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory of Polymers at Interfaces)
The structure of a grafted layer of lactide chains in the “dry brush” regime immersed in a melt of chemically similar polymer was examined while varying graft lengths. To this end, microsecond atomistic molecular dynamics simulations were performed. Almost no influence of graft length on the fraction of the grafted chains backfolded to the grafting surface was found. However, a structural ordering was unexpectedly observed in the system when the length of the grafted lactide chains was close to approximately 10 Kuhn segments. This ordering of the grafts is characterized by the formation of helical fragments whose structure is in good agreement with the experimental data for the α crystal of the lactide chains. Both the backfolding and the structural ordering may be viewed as the initial stage of the crystallization of the layer of grafted lactide chains. In contrast to the known behavior for conventional polymer brushes in the “dry brush” regime, the structure of the grafted lactide chains can be either amorphous or ordered, depending on the graft length N and the grafting density σ when their product is fixed. View Full-Text
Keywords: lactide; dipolar chains; polymer brushes; nanocomposites; structural ordering; molecular dynamics; simulations lactide; dipolar chains; polymer brushes; nanocomposites; structural ordering; molecular dynamics; simulations
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MDPI and ACS Style

Glova, A.D.; Melnikova, S.D.; Mercurieva, A.A.; Larin, S.V.; Lyulin, S.V. Grafting-Induced Structural Ordering of Lactide Chains. Polymers 2019, 11, 2056.

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