Ab-initio Coarse-Graining of Entangled Polymer Systems
Ever since Richard Kuhn’s description of a polymer as a coiling flexible thread , polymer systems have received continuous interest from both theo- rists and experimentalists. In semi-dilute and concentrated polymer solutions each polymer chain interacts with many other chains. The effect of these in- termolecular interactions is revealed by the peculiar flow behaviour of these materials: they are very viscous and have surprising elastic properties. In un- crosslinked polymers these elastic properties manifest themselves temporarily, but still sometimes on time scales as long as seconds or hours. This peculiar viscoelastic behaviour is often rationalized by viewing poly- mer systems as temporary rubbery networks. Such a network arises as a result of mutual uncrossability of the polymer chains - they are entangled. Many at- tempts have already been made to fundamentally explain the entanglement phenomenon. The usual procedure is to propose a microscopic model, calculate the consequences for various dynamic properties, and compare the outcome with experiment, if available. Theoretical treatments of this sort include coop- erative motion models, where the focus is on the increased friction experienced by a test chain because it drags other chains with it over finite distances . A major difficulty in such an approach is the specification of the location and duration of entanglements, because the exact nature of an entanglement is not known.
KeywordsSurfactant Polyethylene Sodium Chloride Alkane Macromolecule
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