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Reconciling Computational and Experimental Trends in the Temperature Dependence of Interfacial Mobility in Polymer Films

Published

Author(s)

Jack F. Douglas, Wengang Zhang, Francis W. Starr

Abstract

Many measurements have indicated that thin polymer films in their glass state exhibit an interfacial layer of enhanced mobility that grows in thickness upon heating, as found also in crystalline materials approaching their melting temperature Tm, while simulations and limited measurements of glass-forming liquids at temperature above the glass-transition temperature Tg,c instead exhibit a growing length scale ξ of enhanced mobility upon cooling. To better understand these contradictory trends, we perform molecular dynamics simulations over a temperature regime for which our simulated polymer film enters a glassy state, and find that the relaxation time within the film interior relative to the polymer-air interfacial regime exhibits a maximum near the observed computational glass transition, Tg,c, reconciling previous measurements and simulations of polymer films in their glass and liquid states. Correspondingly, we also observe that the interfacial mobility scale exhibits a maximum near Tg,c, but the scale of collective polymer segment exchange motion increases monotonically upon cooling so that the interfacial mobility scale is no longer linked to the scale of collective motion in the glass state.
Citation
Journal of Chemical Physics

Keywords

mobile interfacial layer, amorphous polymer films, crystalline materials, glass transition, density interfacial scale

Citation

Douglas, J. , Zhang, W. and Starr, F. (2020), Reconciling Computational and Experimental Trends in the Temperature Dependence of Interfacial Mobility in Polymer Films, Journal of Chemical Physics (Accessed October 17, 2021)
Created March 23, 2020, Updated April 27, 2020