ICAMS / Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Materials Simulation


Non-monotonic effect of additive particle size on the glass transition in polymers

E. Mahmoudinezhad Zirdehi, F. Varnik.

The Journal of Chemical Physics, 150, 024903, (2019)

Effect of small additive molecules on the structural relaxation of polymer melts is investigated via molecular dynamics simulations. At a constant external pressure and a fixed number concentration of added molecules, the variation of the particle diameter leads to a non-monotonic change of the relaxation dynamics of the polymer melt. For non-entangled chains, this effect is rationalized in terms of an enhanced added-particle-dynamics which competes with a weaker coupling strength upon decreasing the particle size. Interestingly, cooling simulations reveal a non-monotonic effect on the glass transition temperature also for entangled chains, where the effect of additives on polymer dynamics is more intricate. This observation underlines the importance of monomer-scale packing effects on the glass transition in polymers. In view of this fact, size-adaptive thermosensitive core-shell colloids would be a promising candidate route to explore this phenomenon experimentally.

Keyword(s): glass transition in polymers; additive effects; plasticizers; particle size effect; molecular dynamics; bead-spring polymer
Cite as: https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5063476
DOI: 10.1063/1.5063476
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