Role of Thermal History and Entanglement Related Thickness Selection in Polymer Crystallization
CF Luo and JU Sommertt, ACS MACRO LETTERS, 5, 35-39 (2016).
Using molecular dynamics simulations and primitive path analysis, we show that hot entangled polymer melts can crystallize faster with higher crystallinities and larger crystalline stem lengths, as compared to cold melts under rapid quenching conditions or during cold-crystallization. This counterintuitive phenomenon similar to the so-called Mpemba effect observed for water can be explained by the temperature dependence of entanglements. Our results demonstrate the key role of the entanglement state for crystallization properties and provide a new approach to understand the role of thermal history and to the open question of thickness selection in polymer crystallization.
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