Hidden Hyperuniformity in Soft Polymeric Materials

A Chremos and JF Douglas, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 121, 258002 (2018).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.258002

We investigate the nature of long-range density fluctuations in melts of model "soft" polymers, specifically stars and bottlebrushes, over a wide temperature range by molecular dynamics simulation. The cores of the stars and the backbones of bottlebrush polymers are found to have a hyperuniform distribution; i.e., they exhibit anomalously small density fluctuations over a wide temperature range above the glass transition temperature. The hyperuniformity of these substituent polymer subregions is hidden since the fluid as a whole does not exhibit this property. These findings offer a strategy for the practical design of hyperuniform polymeric materials.

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