Nanoparticle Motion in Entangled Melts of Linear and Nonconcatenated Ring Polymers
The motion of nanoparticles (NPs) in en-tangled melts of linear polymers and nonconcatenated ring polymers are compared by large-scale molecular dynamics simulations. The comparison provides a paradigm for the effects of polymer architecture on the dynamical coupling between NPs and polymers in nanocomposites. Strongly suppressed motion of NPs with diameter d larger than the entanglement spacing a is observed in a melt of linear polymers before the onset of Fickian NP diffusion. This strong suppression of NP motion occurs progressively as d exceeds a and is related to the hopping diffusion of NPs in the entanglement network. In contrast to the NP motion in linear polymers, the motion of NPs with d \textgreater a in ring polymers is not as strongly suppressed prior to Fickian diffusion. The diffusion coefficient D decreases with increasing d much slower in entangled rings than in entangled linear chains. NP motion in entangled nonconcatenated ring polymers is understood through a scaling analysis of the coupling between NP motion and the self-similar entangled dynamics of ring polymers.
Ge, T; Kalathi, JT; Halverson, JD; Grest, GS; Rubinstein, M
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