We report molecular dynamics simulations for telechelic molecules composed of two polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) cages connected by one hydrocarbon backbone dissolved in liquid normal hexane. Silsesquioxanes are novel hybrid organic-inorganic molecules that are useful as building blocks for the synthesis of nanostructured materials. By including POSS molecules within a polymeric material it is possible to modify mechanical properties such as resistance to heat and glass transition temperatures. Unfortunately, the molecular mechanisms responsible for these enhancements are at present not completely understood. In an effort to elucidate the molecular phenomena responsible for these effects, we have studied the conformation of telechelic POSS molecules in solution, as well as their self-diffusion coefficients, as a function of the length of the hydrocarbon backbone. We focus on molecules in which the radius of gyration of the alkane backbone is comparable to the size of the silsesquioxane cages. Our results indicate that the backbone has a significant influence on both the equilibrium and the transport properties of dissolved telechelic hybrid molecules. These observations are useful for developing strategies to direct the self-assembly of nanostructured materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry