Thermoreversible associating polymer networks. I. Interplay of thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and polymer physics

RS Hoy and GH Fredrickson, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 131, 224902 (2009).

DOI: 10.1063/1.3268777

Hybrid molecular dynamics/Monte Carlo simulations are used to study melts of unentangled, thermoreversibly associating supramolecular polymers. In this first of a series of papers, we describe and validate a model that is effective in separating the effects of thermodynamics and chemical kinetics on the dynamics and mechanics of these systems, and is extensible to arbitrarily nonequilibrium situations and nonlinear mechanical properties. We examine the model's quiescent (and heterogeneous) dynamics, nonequilibrium chemical dynamics, and mechanical properties. Many of our results may be understood in terms of the crossover from diffusion-limited to kinetically limited sticky bond recombination, which both influences and is influenced by polymer physics, i.e., the connectivity of the parent chains.

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