Molecular dynamics simulations of ordering of poly(dimethylsiloxane) under uniaxial stress

NM Lacevic and RS Maxwell and A Saab and RH Gee, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 110, 3588-3594 (2006).

DOI: 10.1021/jp054845e

Molecular dynamics simulations of bulk melts of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) are utilized to study chain conformation and ordering under constant stress uniaxial extension at room temperature. We find that large extensions induce chain ordering in the direction of applied stress. During the extension, we also find that voids are created via a cavitation mechanism. At the end of our simulations, by visual inspection, we distinguish cavity, fibril, and amorphous regions that coexist together. The surrounding material about the formed cavities is fibril-like, while the remaining material remains amorphous. We also estimate the surface energy of the cavity. The cavity size continually increases in the dimension of applied stress but saturates in the lateral dimensions, most likely due to the finite size of the system. Despite chain orientation and ordering in the direction of applied stress, crystallization is absent in the time and stress range of our simulation. This study represents a baseline for the future study of mechanical properties of PDMS melts enriched with fillers under stress.

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