Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1993, 58, 2290-2304

A Monte Carlo Study of Flexible Polymer Chain Conformations in Restricted Volumes. I. A Model for Insoluble Blocks Conformations in Swollen Cores of Multimolecular Spherical Block Copolymer Micelles

Zuzana Limpouchová and Karel Procházka

Department of Physical and Macromolecular Chemistry, Charles University, 128 40 Prague 2, Czech Republic


Monte Carlo simulations of chain conformations in a restricted spherical volume at relatively high densities of segments were performed for various numbers of chains, N, and chain lengths (number of segments), L, on a tetrahedral lattice. All chains are randomly end-tethered to the surface of the sphere. A relatively uniform surface density of the tethered ends is guaranteed in our simulations. A simultaneous self-avoiding walk of all chains creates starting conformations for a subsequent equilibration. A modified algorithm similar to that of Siepmann and Frenkel is used for the equilibration of the chain conformations. In this paper, only a geometrical excluded volume effect of segments is considered. Various structural and conformational characteristics, e.g. segment densities gS(r), free end densities gF(r) as functions of the position in the sphere (a distance from the center), distributions of the tethered-to-free end distances, ρTF(rTF), etc. are calculated and their physical meaning is discussed. The model is suitable for studies of chain conformations is swollen cores of multimolecular block copolymer micelles and for interpretation of non-radiative excitation energy migration in polymeric micellar systems.