Effects of backbone rigidity on the local structure and dynamics in polymer melts and glasses

R Kumar and M Goswami and BG Sumpter and VN Novikov and AP Sokolov, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 15, 4604-4609 (2013).

DOI: 10.1039/c3cp43737j

Frustration in chain packing has been proposed to play an important role in thermodynamic and dynamic properties of polymeric melts and glasses. Based on a quantitative analysis using Voronoi tessellations and large scale molecular dynamics simulations of flexible and semi-flexible polymers, we demonstrate that the rigid polymer chains have higher averaged Voronoi polyhedral volumes and significantly wider distribution of the volume due to frustration in the chain packing. Using these results, we discuss the advantage of the rigid polymers for possible enhancement of transport properties, e.g. for enhancing ionic conductivity in solid polymer electrolytes.

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