Development of Coarse-Grained Models for Poly(4-vinylphenol) and Poly(2-vinylpyridine): Polymer Chemistries with Hydrogen Bonding

U Kapoor and A Kulshreshtha and A Jayaraman, POLYMERS, 12, 2764 (2020).

DOI: 10.3390/polym12112764

In this paper, we identify the modifications needed in a recently developed generic coarse-grained (CG) model that captured directional interactions in polymers to specifically represent two exemplary hydrogen bonding polymer chemistries-poly(4-vinylphenol) and poly(2-vinylpyridine). We use atomistically observed monomer-level structures (e.g., bond, angle and torsion distribution) and chain structures (e.g., end-to-end distance distribution and persistence length) of poly(4-vinylphenol) and poly(2-vinylpyridine) in an explicitly represented good solvent (tetrahydrofuran) to identify the appropriate modifications in the generic CG model in implicit solvent. For both chemistries, the modified CG model is developed based on atomistic simulations of a single 24-mer chain. This modified CG model is then used to simulate longer (36-mer) and shorter (18-mer and 12-mer) chain lengths and compared against the corresponding atomistic simulation results. We find that with one to two simple modifications (e.g., incorporating intra-chain attraction, torsional constraint) to the generic CG model, we are able to reproduce atomistically observed bond, angle and torsion distributions, persistence length, and end-to- end distance distribution for chain lengths ranging from 12 to 36 monomers. We also show that this modified CG model, meant to reproduce atomistic structure, does not reproduce atomistically observed chain relaxation and hydrogen bond dynamics, as expected. Simulations with the modified CG model have significantly faster chain relaxation than atomistic simulations and slower decorrelation of formed hydrogen bonds than in atomistic simulations, with no apparent dependence on chain length.

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