Density effects in entangled solutions of linear and ring polymers

N Nahali and A Rosa, JOURNAL OF PHYSICS-CONDENSED MATTER, 28, 065101 (2016).

DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/28/6/065101

In this paper, we employ molecular dynamics computer simulations to study and compare the statics and dynamics of linear and circular (ring) polymer chains in entangled solutions of different densities. While we confirm that linear chain conformations obey Gaussian statistics at all densities, rings tend to crumple becoming more and more compact as the density increases. Conversely, contact frequencies between chain monomers are shown to depend on solution density for both chain topologies. The relaxation of chains at equilibrium is also shown to depend on topology, with ring polymers relaxing faster than their linear counterparts. Finally, we discuss the local viscoelastic properties of the solutions by showing that the diffusion of dispersed colloid-like particles is markedly faster in the rings case.

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