Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research

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The static and dynamic behaviors of partially charged and end-grafted polyelectrolyte brushes in response to electric fields were investigated by means of molecular dynamics simulation. The results show that the polymer brushes can be partially or fully stretched by applying an external electric field. Moreover, the brushes can switch reversibly from collapsed to stretched states, fully responding to the AC electric stimuli, and the gating response frequency can reach a few hundred MHz. The effects of the grafting density, the charge fraction of the brushes and the strength of the electric field on the average height of the polymer brushes were studied through the simulations.

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