Ordered aggregation structures of semiflexible ring polymers in ring- linear blends

XL Zhou and K Li and FC Guo and LX Zhang, POLYMER, 175, 129-136 (2019).

DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2019.05.005

Conformations and dynamical properties of semiflexible ring polymers (SRPs) in semiflexible ring-linear blends are investigated by using molecular dynamic simulation. The conformations of SRPs rely mainly on bending energy (K-b,K-linear) and chain length (N-linear) of semiflexible linear polymers as well as the fraction of SRPs (phi(ring)) in semiflexible ring-linear blends. SRPs are randomly immersed in flexible or short semiflexible linear polymer melts, however, ordered aggregation structures of SRPs are formed in the matrix of semiflexible linear polymers, especially for long semiflexible linear polymers. These ordered aggregation structures are induced by entropy of SRPs, and long semiflexible linear polymers can improve the overlap of SRPs in semiflexible ring-linear blends. In addition, the center-of-mass diffusion coefficient (D) of SRPs first decreases abruptly and then gradually with the bending energy of linear polymers increasing in semiflexible ring-linear blends, and SRPs diffuse very slowly in the blends of long semiflexible linear polymers due to the strong threading by long semiflexible linear polymers. Our results may help us understand special topological conformations and dynamical behaviors of SRPs in semiflexible ring-linear blends.

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