Computer Simulation of Polymer Chains in Confinement
Properties of macromolecules confined in a narrow slit, pore or capillary are important due to of their practical importance. Theoretical treatment of such systems is also interesting because the introduction of confinement has an impact on most properties of polymer chains and it gained a longstanding attention. In order to determine the properties of such systems coarse-grained models of confined polymers were designed where macromolecules were represented by united atoms. Lattice approximation was also often introduced. Different macromolecular architectures were studied: linear, cyclic and star-branched chains. Computer simulation techniques (the variants of the Monet Carlo method like the Metropolis algorithm and the Replica Exchange method as well as Molecular Dynamics and Brownian Dynamics methods) applied for studies of such models were reviewed and evaluated. The structure of the polymer film and the dynamic properties were mainly presented and discussed. The influence of the width of the slit, the temperature and the force field on the dimension and the structure of chains were studied. It was shown that a moderate confinement stabilizes folded chains while a strong confinement does not.
J. Čermák and I. Stloukal
A. Sikorski "Computer Simulation of Polymer Chains in Confinement", Solid State Phenomena, Vol. 138, pp. 451-475, 2008