Open boundary molecular dynamics of sheared star-polymer melts
Open boundary molecular dynamics (OBMD) simulations of a sheared star polymer melt under isothermal conditions are performed to study the rheology and molecular structure of the melt under a fixed normal load. Comparison is made with the standard molecular dynamics (MD) in periodic (closed) boxes at a fixed shear rate (using the SLLOD dynamics). The OBMD system exchanges mass and momentum with adjacent reservoirs (buffers) where the external pressure tensor is imposed. Insertion of molecules in the buffers is made feasible by implementing there a low resolution model (blob-molecules with soft effective interactions) and then using the adaptive resolution scheme (AdResS) to connect with the bulk MD. Straining with increasing shear stress induces melt expansion and a significantly different redistribution of pressure compared with the closed case. In the open sample, the shear viscosity is also a bit lowered but more stable against the viscous heating. At a given Weissenberg number, molecular deformations and material properties (recoverable shear strain and normal stress ratio) are found to be similar in both setups. We also study the modelling effect of normal and tangential friction between monomers implemented in a dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) thermostat. Interestingly, the tangential friction substantially enhances the elastic response of the melt due to a reduction of the kinetic stress viscous contribution.