This study is the first step in the systematic investigation of substituted (carboxyl) polystyrene nanoparticles. Understanding the fundamental interactions between the p-carboxyl styrene monomers, where an ethyl group is used instead of a vinyl group (referenced, for convenience, as "p-carboxyl styrene"), provides the basic information needed to construct potentials for nanoparticles composed of these monomers. In this work, low-energy isomers of p-carboxyl styrene dimer were studied. The dimer structures and their relative and binding energies were determined using both Møller-Plesset second-order perturbation theory (MP2) and the general effective fragment potential (EFP2) method. Sections of the intermolecular potential energy surface (PES) of the p-carboxylated styrene dimer in its global minimum orientation were also determined. As expected, double hydrogen bonding between the two carboxylic groups provides the strongest interaction in this system, followed by isomers with a single H-bond and strong benzene ring-benzene ring (π-π) type interactions. Generally, the EFP2 method reproduces the MP2 geometries and relative energies with good accuracy, so it appears to be an efficient alternative to the correlated ab initio methods, which are too computationally demanding to be routinely used in the study of the more-complex polymeric systems of interest.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry