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Title:Microscopic theory for dynamics in entangled polymer nanocomposites
Author(s):Yamamoto, Umi
Director of Research:Schweizer, Kenneth S.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Goldenfeld, Nigel D.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Schweizer, Kenneth S.; Aksimentiev, Aleksei; Granick, Steve
Department / Program:Physics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Polymer Dynamics
Abstract:New microscopic theories for describing dynamics in polymer nanocomposites are developed and applied. The problem is addressed from two distinct perspectives and using two different theoretical approaches. The first half of this dissertation studies the long-time and intermediate-time dynamics of nanoparticles in entangled and unentangled polymer melts for dilute particle concentrations. Using a combination of mode-coupling, Brownian motion, and polymer physics ideas, the nanoparticle long-time diffusion coefficients is formulated in terms of multiple length-scales, packing microstructures, and spatially-resolved polymer density fluctuation dynamics. The key motional mechanism is described via the parallel relaxation of the force exerted on the particle controlled by collective polymer constraint-release and the particle self-motion. A sharp but smooth crossover from the hydrodynamic to the non-hydrodynamic regime is predicted based on the Stokes-Einstein violation ratio as a function of all the system variables. Quantitative predictions are made for the recovery of the Stokes-Einstein law, and the diffusivity in the crossover regime agrees surprisingly well with large-scale molecular dynamics simulations for all particle sizes and chain lengths studied. The approach is also extended to address intermediate-time anomalous transport of a single nanoparticle and two-particle relative diffusion. The second half of this dissertation focuses on developing a novel dynamical theory for a liquid of infinitely-thin rods in the presence of hard spherical obstacles, aiming at a technical and conceptual extension of the existing paradigm for entangled polymer dynamics. As a fundamental theoretical development, the two-component generalization of a first-principles dynamic meanfield approach is presented. The theory enforces inter-needle topological uncrossability and needlesphere impenetrability in a unified manner, leading to a generalized theory of entanglements that includes the sphere excluded volume effect. Coupled self-consistent equations for the generalized diffusion tensors are constructed, and the expressions for the transverse localization lengths and the long-time diffusion coefficients are derived. In the static sphere limit, we find the effective tube diameter is generally reduced as a function of a single confinement parameter that quantifies the number of particles penetrating into the pure-polymer tube. A preliminary extension to treat flexible chain melts has also been achieved, and shown to agree reasonably well with simulations. The anisotropic needle diffusion constants are rich functions of the length-scale ratios, needle concentration and particle volume fraction. We show that the steric blocking of the longitudinal motion causes a literal and simultaneous localization of the two diffusion channels, and entangled needles can diffuse via a modified reptation dynamics over a window of polymer concentration but the compression of the tube and the blocking of the reptation motion must be accounted for. Generalization to treat mobile spheres is also possible and fully formulated.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Umi Yamamoto
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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