WIAS Preprint No. 2648, (2019)

Self-consistent field theory for a polymer brush. Part I: Asymptotic analysis in the strong-stretching limit


  • Münch, Andreas
  • Wagner, Barbara
    ORCID: 0000-0001-8306-3645

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 74H10 82B21

2010 Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme

  • 02.30.Mv, 61.25.H-


  • Self-consistent field theory, asymptotic analysis, Cole-Hopf transformation, polymer brush




In this study we consider the self-consistent field theory for a dry, in- compressible polymer brush, densely grafted on a substrate, describing the average segment density of a polymer in terms of an effective chemical potential for the interaction between the segments of the polymer chain. We present a systematic singular perturbation analysis of the self-consistent field theory in the strong-stretching limit, when the length scale of the ratio of the radius of gyration of the polymer chain to the extension of the brush from the substrate vanishes. Our analysis yields, for the first time, an approximation for the average segment density that is correct to leading order in the outer scaling and resolves the boundary layer singularity at the end of the polymer brush in the strong-stretching limit. We also show that in this limit our analytical results agree increasingly well with our numerical solutions to the full model equations comprising the self-consistent field theory.

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