Threading-Unthreading Transition of Linear-Ring Polymer Blends in Extensional Flow

Anine Borger, Wendi Wang, Thomas C. O'Connor, Ting Ge, Gary S. Grest, Grethe Jensen, Junyoung Ahn, Taihyun Chang, Ole Hassager, Kell Mortensen*, Dimitris Vlassopoulos, Qian Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Adding small amounts of ring polymers to a matrix of their linear counterparts is known to increase the zero-shear-rate viscosity because of linear-ring threading. Uniaxial extensional rheology measurements show that, unlike its pure linear and ring constituents, the blend exhibits an overshoot in the stress growth coefficient. By combining these measure-ments with ex-situ small angle neutron scattering and nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations, this overshoot is shown to be driven by a transient threading-unthreading transition of rings embedded within the linear entanglement network. Prior to unthreading, embedded rings deform affinely with the linear entanglement network and produce a meas-urably stronger elongation of the linear chains in the blend compared to the pure linear melt. Thus, rings uniquely alter the mechanisms of transient elongation in linear polymers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1452–1457
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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