Heat capacities of both PMMA stereomers: Comparison between atomistic simulation and experimental data

A Soldera and N Metatla and A Beaudoin and S Said and Y Grohens, POLYMER, 51, 2106-2111 (2010).

DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2010.03.003

The domains of time and space generally covered by full atomistic simulation (AS) to represent the glass transition temperature, T(g), are very small. Physical interpretations of the phenomena occurring at this transition are inevitably limited. To specifically address such limitation, behavior of the heat capacity that accounts for the freezing of the degrees of freedom as temperature is decreased, is investigated. The selected polymer is poly(methyl methacrylate) since it offers the opportunity to exhibit a different T(g) according to the tacticity of its chain. AS and experimental data are thus compared to a theoretical model that takes into account three contributions to the leap in the heat capacity occurring at T(g). The comparison discloses that an excellent agreement is obtained between simulated and experimental contributions from vibrations and free volume. However, from an AS viewpoint changes in the conformation weakly contribute to this leap. Despite this discrepancy local contributions to the glass transition as predicted by atomistic simulation, are sufficient to determine T(g). (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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