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Issue 45, 2017
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Effect of short-chain branching on interfacial polymer structure and dynamics under shear flow

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Abstract

We present a detailed analysis on the effect of short-chain branches on the structure and dynamics of interfacial chains using atomistic nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations of confined polyethylene melts in a wide range of shear rates. The intrinsically fast random motions of the short branches constantly disturb the overall chain conformation, leading to a more compact and less deformed chain structure of the short-chain branched (SCB) polymer against the imposed flow field in comparison with the corresponding linear polymer. Moreover, such highly mobile short branches along the backbone of the SCB polymer lead to relatively weaker out-of-plane wagging dynamics of interfacial chains, with highly curvy backbone structures in the intermediate flow regime. In conjunction with the contribution of short branches (as opposed to that of the backbone) to the total interfacial friction between the chains and the wall, the SCB polymer shows a nearly constant behavior in the degree of slip (ds) with respect to shear rate in the weak-to-intermediate flow regimes. On the contrary, in the strong flow regime where irregular chain rotation and tumbling dynamics occur via intensive dynamical collisions between interfacial chains and the wall, an enhancement effect on the chain detachment from the wall, caused by short branches, leads to a steeper increase in ds for the SCB polymer than for the linear polymer. Remarkably, the SCB chains at the interface exhibit two distinct types of rolling mechanisms along the backbone, with a half-dumbbell mesoscopic structure at strong flow fields, in addition to the typical hairpin-like tumbling behavior displayed by the linear chains.

Graphical abstract: Effect of short-chain branching on interfacial polymer structure and dynamics under shear flow

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Aug 2017, accepted on 31 Oct 2017 and first published on 31 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01644A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017,13, 8644-8650
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    Effect of short-chain branching on interfacial polymer structure and dynamics under shear flow

    S. Jeong, J. M. Kim, S. Cho and C. Baig, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 8644
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01644A

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