In condensed polymeric liquids confined in slit channels, the movement of chains is constrained by two factors: entanglement among the chains and the excluded volume between the chains and the wall. In this study, we propose a wall boundary (WB) model for the primitive chain network (PCN) model, which describes the dynamics of polymer chains in bulk based on coarse graining upon the characteristic molecular weight of the entanglement. The proposed WB model is based on the assumptions that (i) polymers are not stuck but simply reflected randomly by the wall, and (ii) subchains below the entanglement length scale behave like those in bulk even near the wall. Using the WB model, we simulate the dynamics of entangled polymer chains confined in slit channels. The results show that as the slit narrows, the chains are compressed in the direction normal to the wall, while they are expanded in the parallel direction. In addition, the relaxation time of the end-to-end vector increases, and the diffusivity of the center of mass decreases. The compression in the normal direction is a natural effect of confinement, while the expansion is introduced by a hooking process near the wall. The trends revealed that the relaxation time and diffusivity depend on the increase in friction due to an increased number of entanglements near the wall, which is also associated with the hooking process in the PCN model. These results are expected within the assumptions of the PCN model. Thus, the proposed WB model can successfully reproduce the effects of wall confinement on chains.
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Research Article| June 04 2009
Wall boundary model for primitive chain network simulations
Satoru Okuda, Yasuhiro Inoue, Yuichi Masubuchi, Takasi Uneyama, Masaki Hojo; Wall boundary model for primitive chain network simulations. J. Chem. Phys. 7 June 2009; 130 (21): 214907. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3140941
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