Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 28, 2016
Previous Article Next Article

Using surface-induced ordering to probe the isotropic-to-nematic transition for semiflexible polymers

Author affiliations

Abstract

Semiflexible polymers undergo a weakly first order isotropic-to-nematic (IN) phase transition when the volume fraction ϕ is high enough that random alignment of the backbone segments is no longer viable. For semiflexible chains, the critical volume fraction ϕc is governed by the backbone stiffness Np. To locate the IN phase transition, we perform molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of bead-spring chains confined between two impenetrable parallel surfaces. We use the impenetrable surfaces to induce nematic–isotropic interfaces for semiflexible chains in the isotropic phase. By progressively increasing the backbone stiffness Np, we observe the propagation of surface-induced nematic order above a critical stiffness Ncp for a given ϕ. Using the simulation results Ncp(ϕ), we construct the IN phase boundry in the ϕNp plane, from which the scaling relation between ϕc and Np is obtained. For semiflexible chains with Np ≤ 5.78, our results suggest ϕcNp−1, consistent with prediction by Khokhlov and Semenov. For chains with Np ≥ 5.78, we observe a new scaling regime in which ϕcNp−2/3.

Graphical abstract: Using surface-induced ordering to probe the isotropic-to-nematic transition for semiflexible polymers

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
31 Mai 2016
Accepted
16 Jun 2016
First published
16 Jun 2016

Soft Matter, 2016,12, 6141-6147
Article type
Paper

Using surface-induced ordering to probe the isotropic-to-nematic transition for semiflexible polymers

W. Zhang, E. D. Gomez and S. T. Milner, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 6141
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM01258B

Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements