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Issue 43, 2017
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Isostaticity and the solidification of semiflexible polymer melts

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Abstract

Using molecular dynamics simulations of a tangent-soft-sphere bead-spring polymer model, we examine the degree to which semiflexible polymer melts solidify at isostaticity. Flexible and stiff chains crystallize when they are isostatic as defined by appropriate degree-of-freedom-counting arguments. Semiflexible chains also solidify when isostatic if a generalized isostaticity criterion that accounts for the slow freezing out of configurational freedom as chain stiffness increases is employed. The configurational freedom associated with bond angles (θ) can be associated with the characteristic ratio C = (1 + 〈cos(θ)〉)/(1 − 〈cos(θ)〉). We find that the dependence of the average coordination number at solidification [Z(Ts)] on chains' characteristic ratio C has the same functional form [Zab ln(C)] as the dependence of the average coordination number at jamming [Z(ϕJ)] on C in athermal systems, suggesting that jamming-related phenomena play a significant role in thermal polymer solidification.

Graphical abstract: Isostaticity and the solidification of semiflexible polymer melts

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Jul 2017, accepted on 06 Oct 2017 and first published on 09 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01442B
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017,13, 7948-7952
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    Isostaticity and the solidification of semiflexible polymer melts

    C. O. Plaza-Rivera, H. T. Nguyen and R. S. Hoy, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 7948
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01442B

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