Spatial distribution of entanglements in thin free-standing films
We simulate entangled linear polymers in free-standing thin film geometries where the confining dimension is on the same scale as or smaller than the bulk chain dimensions. We compare both film-averaged and layer-resolved, spatially inhomogeneous measures of the polymer structure and entanglement network with theoretical models. We find that these properties are controlled by the ratio of both chain- and entanglement-strand length scales to the film thickness. While the film-averaged entanglement properties can be accurately predicted, we identify outstanding challenges in understanding the spatially resolved character of the heterogeneities in the entanglement network, particularly when the scale of both the entanglement strand and the chain end-to-end vector is comparable to or smaller than the film thickness.
Physical Review E
- Pub Date:
- July 2016
- Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter