TitlePersistence Length, End-to-End Distance, and Structure of Coarse-Grained Polymers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSalerno K.M, Bernstein N.
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Date Published04/2018

Coarse-grained (CG) polymer simulations can access longer times and larger lengths than all-atom (AA) molecular dynamics simulations; however, not all CG models correctly reproduce polymer properties on all length scales. Here we coarse-grain atomistic position data from polyethylene (PE) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) melt simulations by combining A backbone carbon atoms in a single CG bead. Resulting CG variables have correlations along the chain backbone that depend on the coarse-graining scale A and are generally not reproduced by independent bond-length, bond-angle and torsion-angle distributions. By constructing distributions of CG variables equivalent to those from simulated CG potentials we are able to evaluate the bond orientation correlation for different CG models at reduced computational cost. CG models and potentials that include only nonbonded, bond-length, and bond-angle interactions computed by Boltzmann inversion correctly reproduce the CG variable distributions but do not necessarily reproduce the chain stiffness, overestimating the persistence length L-p and end-to-end distance < R-2 >(1/2) with increasing lambda. While CG models that include an independent torsion angle match the bond-orientation correlation and < R-2 >(1/2) better, only approximate models that include correlations between bond and torsion angles match the true bond-orientation correlation.