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Entangled Polymer Dynamics in Attractive Nanocomposite Melts



Erkan Senses, Saeid Darvishi, Madhusudan Tyagi, Antonio Faraone


We investigate single chain dynamics of an entangled linear poly (ethylene oxide) melt in presence of well-dispersed attractive nanoparticles using high resolution neutron spectroscopy at particle volume fractions as high as 0.53. The short time dynamics shows decrease of the Rouse rates with particle loading, yet, the change remains within a factor of two, with no evidence of segment immobilization as often hypothesized. The apparent reptation tube diameter shrinks by {approximately equal} 10 % from the bulk at 0.28 particle volume fraction when face-to-face interparticle distance approaches the single chain size. The tube diameter is remarkably concentration independent at higher loadings where all chains are essentially bound to particle surfaces. These direct experimental observations on the microscopic chain dynamics in attractive nanocomposites are distinct from their non-attractive counterparts and account for some of the unusual dynamical behavior of the nanoparticles as well as rheology in the composites.


polymer nanocomposites, neutron scattering
Created June 22, 2020, Updated September 9, 2020