Authors Luo, C. ; Kröger, M. ; Sommer, J.-U.
Title Molecular dynamics simulations of polymer crystallization under confinement: Entanglement effect
Date 27.01.2017
Number 52601
Abstract We carried out molecular dynamics simulations to study the crystallization of polymer melts subjected to confinement between two parallel walls. Two types of walls, bare and grafted walls, are studied. The bare walls are slippery for chain motions, and the interactions between polymer chains and the walls are moreover chosen either attractive or repulsive. The crystallization in the case of bare walls generally consists of surface-induced processes close to the walls followed by homogeneous nucleation in both the boundary and middle regions. In the case of grafted walls, parts of polymer chains residing close to the walls are adhesive to the surfaces and become permanent graft points. We find that the surface-induced crystallization is increasingly suppressed with increasing grafting density. At high grafting densities, only crystallization in the middle regions is observed. We calculated the spatial distribution of entanglement lengths and related it to the crystallization behavior. The entanglement length close to the walls is found to decrease with increasing grafting density, as the adhesion points act as effective entanglement knots. In light of our recent results that less entangled polymer melts lead to faster crystallization and higher crystallization order, we now show that this conclusion stands also for the case of confined polymer melts. Our results suggest entanglements to be an universal factor towards the understanding of polymer crystallization under different situations, in particular at supercooling.
Publisher Polymer
Citation Polymer 109 (2017) 71-84
Tags simulation crystallization entanglement

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