Journal of Chemical Physics

Starlike dendrimers in solutions: Structural properties and internal dynamics

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We measured the shape and the internal dynamics of starlike dendrimers under good solvent conditions with small-angle neutron scattering and neutron spin-echo (NSE) spectroscopy, respectively. Architectural parameters such as the spacer length and generation were varied in a systematic manner. Structural changes occurring in the dendrimers as a function of these parameters are discussed, i.e., in terms of the fractal dimension and deviations of the radius of gyration from the Gaussian value. A first cumulant evaluation of the NSE spectra for each scattering vector q separately yields the length scale dependent relaxation rates. We observe a local minimum in the normalized relaxation rates (q) q3 on length scales corresponding to the overall dendrimer dimension. The dynamics is discussed within a Rouse-Zimm approach generalized to the case of starlike dendrimers of arbitrary geometry. The model allows an identification of the modes contributing to the relaxation of the dendrimer in the q and time range of the NSE experiment. The local minimum is due to collective breathing motions of (parts of) the dendrons relative to each other. Shape fluctuations are not observed. © 2006 American Institute of Physics.