**Isostaticity and the solidification of semiflexible polymer melts**

CO Plaza-Rivera and HT Nguyen and RS Hoy, SOFT MATTER, 13, 7948-7952 (2017).

DOI: 10.1039/c7sm01442b

Using molecular dynamics simulations of a tangent-soft-sphere bead-
spring polymer model, we examine the degree to which semiflexible
polymer melts solidify at isostaticity. Flexible and stiff chains
crystallize when they are isostatic as defined by appropriate degree-of-
freedom-counting arguments. Semiflexible chains also solidify when
isostatic if a generalized isostaticity criterion that accounts for the
slow freezing out of configurational freedom as chain stiffness
increases is employed. The configurational freedom associated with bond
angles (theta) can be associated with the characteristic ratio
C-infinity = (1 + < cos(theta)>)/(1 - < cos(theta)>). We find that the
dependence of the average coordination number at solidification **Z(T-s)**
on chains' characteristic ratio C-infinity has the same functional form
**Z similar or equal to a b n(C-infinity) as the dependence of the
average coordination number at jamming Z(phi(J)) on C-infinity in
athermal systems, suggesting that jamming-related phenomena play a
significant role in thermal polymer solidification.
**

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