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Tine Curk, 2012, master's thesis

Abstract: A grafted polymer layer can be used to prevent the deposition of colloidal particles on a solid surface. This thesis presents Monte Carlo simulations of hard-sphere colloids pushed to a polymer brush under the influence of external fields (e.g. gravity). For weak fields colloids can not penetrate the brush and the effective potential acting on a single colloid is approximately quadratic. The phase diagram of three-dimensional hard-sphere colloids, that in one dimension are constrained to a plane by a harmonic potential, is presented. Under the influence of sufficiently strong external fields colloids penetrate the brush and form internally ordered, columnar structures that span the polymer layer. The morphology of the patterns that form depends sensitively on the strength of the applied field. We propose a simple phenomenological theory that accounts for the main characteristics of the observed behaviour. The present results suggest a simple experimental method to determine the surface polymer coverage.
Keywords: Soft Matter, Monte Carlo Method, Wang-Landau Algorithm, Free Energy, Polymer Brush, Colloids, Ordering
Published: 04.03.2013; Views: 1645; Downloads: 73
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