Theoretical aspects and computer simulations of flexible charged oligomers in salt-free solutions

Bizjak, A.; Resˇcˇicˇ, J.; Kalyuzhnyi, Yu. V.; Vlachy, V.
December 2006
Journal of Chemical Physics;12/7/2006, Vol. 125 Issue 21, p214907
Academic Journal
The structural and thermodynamic properties of a model solution containing flexible charged oligomers and an equivalent number of counterions were studied by means of the canonical Monte Carlo simulation and integral equation theory. The oligomers were represented as freely jointed chains of charged hard spheres. In accordance with the primitive model of electrolyte solutions, the counterions were modeled as charged hard spheres and the solvent as a dielectric continuum. Simulations were performed for a set of model parameters, independently varying the chain length and concentration of the oligomers. Structural properties in the form of pair distribution functions were calculated as functions of model parameters. In addition, thermodynamic properties such as the excess energy of solution and the excess chemical potential of counterions were obtained. These properties were correlated with the conformational averages of oligomers as reflected in the end-to-end distances and radii of gyration obtained from the simulations. The relation with the experimental data for heats of dilution and for the activity coefficient is discussed. Finally, theories based on Wertheim’s integral equation approach (product reactant Ornstein-Zernike approach) [J. Stat. Phys. 42, 477 (1986)] in the so-called polymer mean spherical and polymer hypernetted chain approximations were tested against the new and existing computer simulations. For the values of parameters examined in this study, the integral equation theory yields semiquantitative agreement with computer simulations.


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