Nanorheology of Entangled Polymer Melts.

TitleNanorheology of Entangled Polymer Melts.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsT Ge, GS Grest, and M Rubinstein
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Start Page057801
Date Published02/2018

We use molecular simulations to probe the local viscoelasticity of an entangled polymer melt by tracking the motion of embedded nonsticky nanoparticles (NPs). As in conventional microrheology, the generalized Stokes-Einstein relation is employed to extract an effective stress relaxation function G_{GSE}(t) from the mean square displacement of NPs. G_{GSE}(t) for different NP diameters d are compared with the stress relaxation function G(t) of a pure polymer melt. The deviation of G_{GSE}(t) from G(t) reflects the incomplete coupling between NPs and the dynamic modes of the melt. For linear polymers, a plateau in G_{GSE}(t) emerges as d exceeds the entanglement mesh size a and approaches the entanglement plateau in G(t) for a pure melt with increasing d. For ring polymers, as d increases towards the spanning size R of ring polymers, G_{GSE}(t) approaches G(t) of the ring melt with no entanglement plateau.

Short TitlePhysical Review Letters