The parameters that influence the conformation of poly(propylene imine) dendrimers were investigated by molecular simulations using molecular mechanics and simulated annealing methods. Dendrimers with two types of peripheral units able to communicate via hydrogen bonding-amine and amide moieties-were considered in order to study the role that secondary interactions among the end groups have in the spatial organization of the dendritic branches. Radial atomic density profiles and radial atomic probability distributions were used to extract global properties, such as the degree of packing of the branches, the distribution of the monomers throughout the molecular volume, and the extent and characteristics of the surface region. Information was also obtained about the nature, location, and extent of formation of the hydrogen bonds, as well as their evolution with dendrimer generation and their assembly into networks. The analyses were supported by a detailed investigation of the first two generations, with an emphasis on the relationship between hydrogen bonding and the compactness and stability of the molecules; this allowed us to account for the generational evolution of hydrogen bonding that is experimentally observed in several poly(propylene imine) dendrimers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry