Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Polymer Single Chain Coil-Globule Transitions: A Scaled Particle Theory

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2009


The single-chain polymer coil-globule transition (CGT) is of great interest due to its applicability both in biological macromolecules and in synthetic stimuli responsive polymers. The present authors have published a lattice-fluid model for the lower critical solution temperature (LCST)-related CGT and for a theoretical high temperature upper critical solution temperature (UCST)-related CGT. However, more recently an updated model for these transitions has been developed based on a scaled particle theory approach. This model, without the use of adjustable solution parameters, provides a semi-quantitative match with extant experimental measures of CGT behavior. The predicted CGT also reproduces important aspects of a recently proposed qualitative master curve for the phase behavior of polymer solutions. In particular, the model predicts an LCST-related CGT temperature which increases with pressure until it merges at a pressure Pmax with a UCST-related CGT.

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