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Issue 37, 2010
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Systematic microcanonical analyses of polymer adsorption transitions

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In detailed microcanonical analyses of densities of states obtained by extensive multicanonical Monte Carlo computer simulations, we investigate the caloric properties of conformational transitions that adsorbing polymers experience near attractive substrates. For short chains and strong surface attraction, the microcanonical entropy turns out to be a convex function of energy in the transition regime, indicating that surface-entropic effects are relevant. Albeit known to be a continuous transition in the thermodynamic limit of infinitely long chains, the adsorption transition of nongrafted finite-length polymers thus exhibits a clear signature of a first-order-like transition, with coexisting phases of adsorbed and desorbed conformations. Another remarkable consequence of the convexity of the microcanonical entropy is that the transition is accompanied by a decrease of the microcanonical temperature with increasing energy. Since this is a characteristic physical effect it might not be ignored in analyses of cooperative macrostate transitions in finite systems.

Graphical abstract: Systematic microcanonical analyses of polymer adsorption transitions

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The article was received on 10 Feb 2010, accepted on 14 May 2010 and first published on 06 Aug 2010

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C002862B
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010,12, 11548-11554

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    Systematic microcanonical analyses of polymer adsorption transitions

    M. Möddel, W. Janke and M. Bachmann, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010, 12, 11548
    DOI: 10.1039/C002862B

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