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Issue 27, 2014
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Stretching and folding of 2-nanometer hydrocarbon rods

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Abstract

Linear alkanes CnH2n+2 in vacuum isolation are finite models for an infinite polyethylene chain. Using spontaneous Raman scattering in supersonic jet expansions for n = 13–21 in different spectral ranges, we determine the minimal chain length nh for the cohesion-driven folding of the preferred extended all-trans conformation into a hairpin structure. We treat fully stretched all-trans alkanes as molecular “nanorods” and derive Young's modulus E for the stretching of an isolated single-strand polyethylene fibre by extrapolating the longitudinal acoustic mode to infinite chain length. Two key quality parameters for accurate intra- and intermolecular force fields of hydrocarbons (nh = 18 ± 1, E = 305 ± 5 GPa) are thus derived with high accuracy from experimental spectroscopy.

Graphical abstract: Stretching and folding of 2-nanometer hydrocarbon rods

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Mar 2014, accepted on 29 Apr 2014 and first published on 28 May 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM00508B
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Citation: Soft Matter, 2014,10, 4885-4901
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    Stretching and folding of 2-nanometer hydrocarbon rods

    N. O. B. Lüttschwager and M. A. Suhm, Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 4885
    DOI: 10.1039/C4SM00508B

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