We investigate the influence of the addition of polymer chains on suspensions of low-functionality star polymers in the dilute star regime. We focus on the structural and dynamical features of the mixture by means of Molecular Dynamic simulations, based on a recently introduced model, which coarse-grained the interactions between the two components of the system. Numerical results are compared to the analytical ones, obtained from mode-coupling theory. We find evidence for the formation of transient star clusters upon chain addition, which is induced by the depletion attraction between the stars. Contrary to the case of hard colloids with a depletion-induced short-range attraction and a long range repulsion, the formed clusters are irregular and transient, allowing for particle exchange among themselves.
You have access to this article
Please wait while we load your content...
Something went wrong. Try again?