Exploration of Polymer Entanglement

Open Access
Author:
Bisbee, Windsor Kenneth
Area of Honors:
Chemical Engineering
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Scott Thomas Milner, Thesis Supervisor
  • Michael John Janik, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • primitive path
  • tube
  • simulation
  • polymer melt
  • isoconfigurational ensemble
Abstract:
In this work, the method of isoconfigurational ensemble is applied to an entangled polymer melt. Based on the interpretation of the path of a molecule through a melt as the mean position of its monomers, this method allows us to noninvasively find the confining tube of a molecule in terms of size, shape, primitive path, and statistical properties. This analysis was also used to explore the effects of a free surface on the tube. It was found that the tube diameter smoothly increases by about 25%, and the surface effect is felt to about two tube diameters deep. The surface also induces anisotropy in the tube; segments within about a tube diameter of the surface tend to lie parallel to the surface.