Understanding constraint release in star/linear polymer blends

M. E. Shivokhin, Evelyne Van Ruymbeke, Christian M E Bailly, D. Kouloumasis, Nikos Hadjichristidis, Alexei E. Likhtman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


In this paper, we exploit the stochastic slip-spring model to quantitatively predict the stress relaxation dynamics of star/linear blends with well-separated longest relaxation times and we analyze the results to assess the validity limits of the two main models describing the corresponding relaxation mechanisms within the framework of the tube picture (Doi's tube dilation and Viovy's constraint release by Rouse motions of the tube). Our main objective is to understand and model the stress relaxation function of the star component in the blend. To this end, we divide its relaxation function into three zones, each of them corresponding to a different dominating relaxation mechanism. After the initial fast Rouse motions, relaxation of the star is dominated at intermediate times by the "skinny" tube (made by all topological constraints) followed by exploration of the "fat" tube (made by long-lived obstacles only). At longer times, the tube dilation picture provides the right shape for the relaxation of the stars. However, the effect of short linear chains results in time-shift factors that have never been described before. On the basis of the analysis of the different friction coefficients involved in the relaxation of the star chains, we propose an equation predicting these time-shift factors. This allows us to develop an analytical equation combining all relaxation zones, which is verified by comparison with simulation results. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2451-2463
Number of pages13
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 21 2014

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank Dr. Dietmar Auhl for assistance in experimental part of this work and Prof. Hiroshi Watanabe, Dr. Zuowei Wang, Dr. Yuichi Masubuchi for valuable discussions. We also thank Prof. J. Roovers for providing us with experimental data of the monodisperse star polymers. The research leading to these results has received funding from the [European Community's] Seventh Framework Programme [FP7/2007-2013] under Grant Agreement No. 214627-DYNACOP. Computational resources have been provided by the supercomputing facilities of the Universite catholique de Louvain (CISM/UCL).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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