Helix formation in linear achiral dendronized polymers: A computer simulation study

D.K. Christopoulos, A.F. Terzis, A.G. Vanakaras and D.J. Photinos, J. Chem. Phys., 125, 204907 (2006). (e-print)

Abstract: We present a molecular simulation study of the structure of linear dendronized polymers. We use excluded volume interactions in the context of a generic coarse grained molecular model whose geometrical parameters are tuned to represent a poly(paraphenylene) backbone with benzyl ether, Frechet-type dendrons. We apply Monte Carlo sampling in order to investigate the formation of packing-induced chiral structures along the polymer backbone of these chemically achiral systems. We find that helical structures can be formed, usually with defects consisting of domains with reversed helical handedness. Clear signs of helical arrangements of the dendrons begin to appear for dendritic generation g=4, while for g=5 these arrangements dominate and perfect helices can be observed as equilibrium structures obtained from certain types of starting configurations.

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