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Constraint Release Mechanisms for H-Polymers Moving in Linear Matrices of Varying Molar Masses

Lentzakis, Helen, Costanzo, Salvatore, Vlassopoulos, Dimitris, Colby, Ralph H., Read, Daniel Jon, Lee, Hyojoon, Chang, Taihyun, van Ruymbeke, Evelyne
Macromolecules 2019 v.52 no.8 pp. 3010-3028
melting, molecular weight, solvents, viscoelasticity
We investigate the influence of the environment on the relaxation dynamics of well-defined H-polymers diluted in a matrix of linear chains. The molar mass of the linear chain matrix is systematically varied and the relaxation dynamics of the H-polymer is probed by means of linear viscoelastic measurements, with the aim to understand its altered motion in different blends, compared to its pure melt state. Our results indicate that short unentangled linear chains accelerate the relaxation of both the branches and the backbone of the H-polymers by acting as an effective solvent. On the other hand, the relaxation of the H-polymer in an entangled matrix is slowed-down, with the degree of retardation depending on the entanglement number of the linear chains. We show that this retardation can be quantified by considering that the H-polymers are moving in a dilated tube at the rhythm of the motion of the linear matrix.