Molecular Dynamics of Polyisoprene/Polystyrene Oligomer Blends: The role of self-concentration and fluctuations on blend dynamics

Harmandaris, Vagelis A. and Doxastakis, Manolis (2013) Molecular Dynamics of Polyisoprene/Polystyrene Oligomer Blends: The role of self-concentration and fluctuations on blend dynamics. Journal of Chemical Physics. (Submitted)

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The effect of self-concentration and intermolecular packing on the dynamics of polyisoprene (PI)/polystyrene (PS) blends is examined by extensive atomistic simulations. Direct information on local structure of the blend system allows a quantitative calculation of self- and effective composition terms at various length scales that are introduced to proposed models of blend dynamics. Through a detailed statistical analysis, the full distribution of relaxation times associated with reorienation of carbon-hydrogen bonds was extracted and compared to literature experimental data. A direct relation between relaxation times and local effective composition is found. Following an implementation of a model involving local composition as well as concentration fluctuations the relevant length scales characterizing the segmental dynamics of both components were critically examined. For PI the distribution of times becomes narrower for the system with the lowest PS content and then broadens as more PS is added. This is in contrast to the slow component (PS), where an extreme breadth is found for relaxation times in the 25/75 system prior to narrowing as we increase PI concentration. The chain dynamics was directly quantified by diffusion coefficients as well as the terminal (maximum) relaxation time of each component in the mixed state. Strong coupling between the friction coefficients of the two components was predicted that leads to very similar chain dynamics for PI and PS, particularly for high concentrations of PI. We anticipate this finding to the rather short oligomers (below the Rouse regime) studied here as well as to the rather similar size of PI and PS chains. The ratio of the terminal to the segmental relaxation time, τterm/τseg,c, presents a clear qualitative difference for the constituents: for PS the above ratio is almost independent of blend composition and very similar to the pure state. In contrast, for PI this ratio depends strongly on the composition of the blend; i.e. the terminal relaxation time of PI increases more than its segmental relaxation time, as the concentration of PS increases, resulting into a larger terminal/segmental ratio. We explain this disparity, based on the different length scales characterizing dynamics. The relevant length for the segmental dynamics of PI is about 0.4-0.6 nm, smaller than chain dimensions which are expected to characterize terminal dynamics, whereas for PS associated length scales are similar (about 0.7-1.0 nm) rendering a uniform change with mixing.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QC Physics
Depositing User: Prof. V. Harmandaris
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2013 11:37
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2016 07:16

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