Tunable Nanopatterns via the Constrained Dewetting of Polymer Brushes

28 November 2019

Coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations were used to investigate the mor- phology and dynamics of nano-patterns formed by grafted polymer brushes on a non- adsorbing substrate as a result of constrained dewetting. As a good solvent is made to gradually evaporate, polymer brushes with low to moderate grafting density collapse into discrete nano-sized aggregates, with di erent types of nano-patterns possible, in- cluding pancake micelles and holey layers. The type of pattern, the size and number of features, and their dynamics depend on the grafting density of the polymer brush and amount of good solvent adsorbed. The nal pattern morphology depends primarily on the total amount of material adsorbed to the surface, including both polymer and solvent. This result suggests the possibility for the use of polymer brushes as surfaces with reversibly tunable nano-patterns.