School Seminars and Colloquia

Untangling polymer systems: Structure prediction in polymer networks with quenched disorder

Joint StatMech/MASCOS/COSNET seminar

by Dr Abigail Klopper

Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems
Date: Wed 13th December 2006
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Room 213, Richard Berry Building, The University of Melbourne

Abstract: Highly concentrated liquids comprising long polymeric chains can undergo processes of cross-linking and entanglement, giving rise to intriguing macroscopic properties. The key ingredient is connective quenched disorder, which freezes the topology of the liquid in the form of a polymer network. The translational invariance in the system is spontaneously broken and the phase space is divided into disjoint ergodic regions.

Such behaviour is well-known from a large class of systems exhibiting the so-called glassy phase, characterised by randomness and slow dynamics. This opens the door to an extensive analytic formalism for structure prediction in cross-linked polymer systems. By constructing a theoretical framework which makes use of simulation data, one can draw from these techniques without resorting to microscopic detail and otherwise unphysical assumptions. In the study presented, the spin-glass replica formalism is applied to data from molecular dynamics simulations of ideal non-interacting cross-linked polymer systems in order to describe neutron scattering measurements in interacting systems.

For More Information: Emma Lockwood Tel: +61 3 8344 1617