Linear rheology of comb polymers with star-like backbones: Melts and solutions

Michael Kapnistos, George Koutalas, Nikos Hadjichristidis, Jacques Roovers, David J. Lohse, Dimitris Vlassopoulos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


We investigate the linear rheology of model star-comb homopolymers consisting of star-like backbone chains with grafted branches. We show that the tube-based theory in the framework of full dynamic dilution, appropriately modified to account for the effects of the fluctuations of the free segments (the segments of the star arms between the outer branching points and the arms' free end-monomers) of the backbone star arms, and the polydispersity accurately describes the linear viscoelastic spectrum. For these branched polymers, the relaxation is found to proceed hierarchically, similar to combs with linear backbones. However, in contrast to the latter, here, there is no reptation. The higher functionality star combs with sparse branching are particularly interesting because they resemble a Cayley tree structure and are treated in the context of asymmetric star polymers. We also employ solutions of star combs and test our model in static dilution conditions. In the region where despite the presence of both static (solvent) and dynamic dilution the polymers remain entangled, our model is particularly successful without adjusting any parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-286
Number of pages14
JournalRheologica Acta
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Branched polymers
  • Comb
  • Dendritic
  • Dynamic dilution
  • Grafted star
  • Rheology
  • Star
  • Tube dilation
  • Tube model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • General Materials Science


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