One-dimensional supramolecular aggregates can form networks at exceedingly low concentrations. Recent experiments in several laboratories, including our own, have demonstrated the formation of gels by these systems at concentrations well under 1% by weight. The systems of interest in our laboratory form either cylindrical nanofibers or ribbons as a result of strong noncovalent interactions among monomers. The stiffness and interaction energies among these thread-like objects can vary significantly depending on the chemical structure of the monomers used. We have used Monte Carlo simulations to study the structure of the threads and their ability to form networks through bundle formation. The persistence length of the threads was found to be strongly affected not only by stiffness, but also by the strength of attractive two-body interactions among thread segments. The relative values of stiffness and attractive two-body interaction strength determine if threads collapse or create bundles. Only in the presence of sufficiently long threads and bundle formation can these systems assemble into networks of high connectivity.
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics