Communication: Polymer entanglement dynamics: Role of attractive interactions

GS Grest, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 145, 141101 (2016).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4964617

The coupled dynamics of entangled polymers, which span broad time and length scales, govern their unique viscoelastic properties. To follow chain mobility by numerical simulations from the intermediate Rouse and reptation regimes to the late time diffusive regime, highly coarse grained models with purely repulsive interactions between monomers are widely used since they are computationally the most efficient. Here using large scale molecular dynamics simulations, the effect of including the attractive interaction between monomers on the dynamics of entangled polymer melts is explored for the first time over a wide temperature range. Attractive interactions have little effect on the local packing for all temperatures T and on the chain mobility for T higher than about twice the glass transition T-g. These results, across a broad range of molecular weight, show that to study the dynamics of entangled polymer melts, the interactions can be treated as pure repulsive, confirming a posteriori the validity of previous studies and opening the way to new large scale numerical simulations. Published by AIP Publishing.

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