Intermolecular crowding of densely tethered polymers promotes chain extension and anisotropy that induces many unique properties. In this study, we used conformation-sensitive infrared spectroscopy to determine that chain extension in a polymer brush is associated with local conformation rearrangements, i.e., contraction of side groups and increased proportion of gauche twists in the backbone, which served to increase molecular disorder at or below the segmental scale. This conformational transition points to a particular molecular mechanism for chain extension in densely tethered polymers, wherein increased local disorder facilitates global chain ordering (i.e., chain extension) and therefore supplements our current understanding of chain orientation at a molecular level.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry