Effects of chain stiffness and penetrant size on penetrant diffusion in simple polymers: deduced relations from simulation and PRISM theory

J Budzien and JD McCoy and D Rottach and JG Curro, POLYMER, 45, 3923-3932 (2004).

DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2003.12.084

Molecular dynamics simulations in the NVT ensemble were performed for a repulsive system of bead-spring polymer chains with angle constraints. The diffusion coefficients of spherical penetrants were measured for different size penetrants as the angle constraints were varied. The scaling of the diffusion coefficient with penetrant size varies as a function of chain stiffness from liquid-like behavior to polymeric behavior. Free volume distributions were calculated from both simulation and PRISM theory. It is found that free volume distributions and mean void size are constant with chain stiffness although the diffusion coefficient changes by a factor of two. This suggests that while free volume is necessary for diffusion to occur, binary collisions and chain relaxation also play a role in determining penetrant diffusion. The relative contributions of these factors to the diffusion coefficient may change as a function of chain stiffness. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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