Effects of Polydispersity in the End-Grafted Polymer Brush

S. T. Milner, T. A. Witten, M. E. Cates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

373 Scopus citations


We consider the effects of polydispersity in molecular weight on the equilibrium statistics of the grafted polymer brush. We use a self-consistent field method, exploiting the fact that the chains in the brush are strongly stretched, to map the problem onto one involving the trajectories of classical particles. A general solution for the density or pressure profile and the force required to compress a brush is given in terms of the distribution of molecular weights. The profile is a unique function of the molecular weight distribution and vice versa. Results are also given for a “brush” whose density profile is constrained to be uniform, as is appropriate to the description of lamellar mesophases of block copolymer melts. Consequences for force-balance experiments and for colloid stabilization are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-861
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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