Star polymers in good solvents from dilute to concentrated regimes : crossover approach

Lue, L. and Kiselev, S.B. (2002) Star polymers in good solvents from dilute to concentrated regimes : crossover approach. Condensed Matter Physics, 5 (1). pp. 73-104. ISSN 2224-9079

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    Abstract

    An introduction is given to the crossover theory of the conformational and thermodynamic properties of star polymers in good solvents. The crossover theory is tested against Monte Carlo simulation data for the structure and thermodynamics of model star polymers. In good solvent conditions, star polymers approach a ``universal'' limit as $Nto; however, there are two types of approach towards this limit. In the dilute regime, a critical degree of polymerization $N^*$ is found to play a similar role as the Ginzburg number in the crossover theory for critical phenomena in simple fluids. A rescaled penetration function is found to control the free energy of star polymer solutions in the dilute and semidilute regions. This equation of state captures the scaling behaviour of polymer solutions in the dilute/semidilute regimes and also performs well in the concentrated regimes, where the details of the monomer-monomer interactions become important.