Dynamics and diffusive-conformational coupling in polymer bulk samples and surfaces: a molecular dynamics study
C Vree and SG Mayr, NEW JOURNAL OF PHYSICS, 12, 023001 (2010).
The impact of free surfaces on the mobility and conformational fluctuations of model polymer chains is investigated with the help of classical molecular dynamics simulations over a broad temperature range. Below a critical temperature, T*, similar to the critical temperature of the mode coupling theory, the center-of-mass displacements and temporal fluctuations of the radius of gyration of individual chains-as a fingerprint of structural reconfigurations-reveal a strong enhancement close to surfaces, while this effect diminishes with increasing temperature and observation time. Interpreting conformational fluctuations as a random walk in conformational space, identical activation enthalpies for structural reconfigurations and diffusion are obtained within the error bars in the bulk and at the surfaces, thus indicating a coupling of diffusive and conformational dynamics.
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