The single most important feature that affects polymer dynamics is their entanglement. We developed a self-consistent theory of rheology of polydisperse entangled polymers. We constructed a discretized model that explained the anomalous 3.4 power law dependence of viscosity on molecular weight of entangled polymers. The theory was extended to polymers with other molecular architectures, such as branched and cyclic macromolecules. We also developed a quantitative model of the effect of polymer entanglements on the nonlinear elasticity of polymer networks as well as of their swelling and de-swelling characteristics.
We are extending the theory of non-concatenated rings to model de-swollen networks and gels. We are modeling the dynamics of entangled bottle-brushes and nanocomposites with polymers grafted and adsorbed on nanoparticles. We are applying entangled polymer models to describe the conformations and interactions of DNA loops inside cell nuclei.
- “Elasticity of Polymer Networks” by M. Rubinstein and S. Panyukov, Macromolecules, 35, 6670-6686 (2002).
- “Two Parameter Scaling for Polymers in Theta Solvents” by R. H. Colby and M. Rubinstein, Macromolecules 23, 2753-2757 (1990).
- “Self-Consistent Theory of Polydisperse Entangled Polymers: Linear Viscoelasticity of Binary Blends” by M. Rubinstein and R. H. Colby, J. Chem. Phys. 89, 5291-5306 (1988).
- “Discretized Model of Entangled-Polymer Dynamics” by M. Rubinstein, Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 1946-1949 (1987) [Reviewed by J. Meddox, “New Ways with Reptating Polymers”, Nature 330, 11 (1987)].