Towards a theory of the coil-globule transition in comb-like macromolecules

A. Yu Grosberg, Ye M. Kaganova

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The existing theory of the coil-globule transition in linear chains is extended in the present paper to the class of comb-like macromolecules. If the degree of polymerization is sufficiently great, the globule formed has a spherically symmetrical structure with a large spatially uniform core; in the surface layer, the density of side-chain ends decreases rather more slowly than does the density of main-chain links; the coil-globule transition occurs in the same way as in a linear chain. If the degree of polymerization is not very large, and only the ends of the side chains interact (have poor solubility), the interacting links form a drop-like nucleus of the globule and the continuous chain surrounds this nucleus; in order to describe the system, it is necessary to know only the equilibrium concentration of a saturated solution of the separated links, not any other characteristics of the volume interactions; the coil-globule transition occurs as a first order phase change; on going from a linear chain to a star-shaped chain, the transition temperature falls monotonically in the case of a flexible main chain but passes through a maximum in the case of a rigid main chain.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1370-1377
    Number of pages8
    JournalPolymer Science U.S.S.R.
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - 1983

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Engineering


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