Microscopic Theory for the Dynamics of Unentangled and Entangled Polymer Melts

28 Sep 2015  ·  Guenza M. G. ·

The Langevin Equation for cooperative dynamics represents the dynamics of polymer melts with chains of increasing degree of polymerization, covering the full range of behavior from the unentangled to the entangled regime. This equation describes the motion of a group of interpenetrating polymers that are interacting through an effective potential resulting from the many-body coupling of the inter polymer potential inside the macromolecular liquid... The confinement of the dynamics due to the presence of entanglements is accounted for by an effective inter-monomer potential which is zero until the distance between two monomers belonging to different chains reaches a characteristic value, d. At that distance a constraint is applied through an effective hard-core repulsion that represents the effect of entanglements in the slowing down of the relative diffusion of the monomers. As the time evolves the constraint relaxes due to the chain interdiffusion. The same potential acts on both unentangled and entangled polymer chains, but short chains are not affected as they relax faster than they experience the presence of the potential. The comparison with Neutron Spin Echo experiments of polyethylene melts shows quantitative agreement of the theory with the time dependent incoherent scattering function for a variety of samples in both the unentangled and the entangled regimes. read more

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Soft Condensed Matter