Systematic and simulation-free coarse graining of homopolymer melts: a relative-entropy-based study
We applied the systematic and simulation-free strategy proposed in our previous work (D. Yang and Q. Wang, J. Chem. Phys., 2015, 142, 054905) to the relative-entropy-based (RE-based) coarse graining of homopolymer melts. RE-based coarse graining provides a quantitative measure of the coarse-graining performance and can be used to select the appropriate analytic functional forms of the pair potentials between coarse-grained (CG) segments, which are more convenient to use than the tabulated (numerical) CG potentials obtained from structure-based coarse graining. In our general coarse-graining strategy for homopolymer melts using the RE framework proposed here, the bonding and non-bonded CG potentials are coupled and need to be solved simultaneously. Taking the hard-core Gaussian thread model (K. S. Schweizer and J. G. Curro, Chem. Phys., 1990, 149, 105) as the original system, we performed RE-based coarse graining using the polymer reference interaction site model theory under the assumption that the intrachain segment pair correlation functions of CG systems are the same as those in the original system, which de-couples the bonding and non-bonded CG potentials and simplifies our calculations (that is, we only calculated the latter). We compared the performance of various analytic functional forms of non-bonded CG pair potential and closures for CG systems in RE-based coarse graining, as well as the structural and thermodynamic properties of original and CG systems at various coarse-graining levels. Our results obtained from RE-based coarse graining are also compared with those from structure-based coarse graining.