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Effects of Stereo-regularity on the Single-chain Mechanics of Polylactic Acid and Its Implications on the Physical Properties of the Bulk Materials

Abstract

The material properties of polylactic acid are largely determined by the stereo-regularity (tacticity). To find out the origin at the molecular level, the single-chain mechanics of PLLA and PDLLA are comparatively investigated by means of single-molecule AFM. At a low concentration, PLLA adopts a random-coil conformation in a good solvent. At a high concentration, however, the PLLA chain can be induced into a helix, which consumes additional energy during unfolding by further stretching. Due to the random arrangement of L- and D- repeating units in the PDLLA chain, PDLLA adopts random-coil conformation at all concentrations. The difference of single-chain mechanics of PLLA and PDLLA at high concentrations may be the origin of their different macroscopic properties. This is the first report that reveals the stereo-regularity dependent mechanics of a polymer at the single-molecule level, which is helpful to bridge the gap between understanding single-molecule and materials properties.

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Publication details

The article was accepted on 07 Sep 2017 and first published on 08 Sep 2017


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06483G
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Effects of Stereo-regularity on the Single-chain Mechanics of Polylactic Acid and Its Implications on the Physical Properties of the Bulk Materials

    S. Cui, B. Cheng, L. Qian, H. Qian and Z. Lu, Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06483G

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