Evaluation of dethreading in blends of ring and linear polymers

Daniel Vigil
Sandia National Laboratories
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Blends of linear and ring polymers have slower dynamics and higher viscosities than the pure individual components. This is due to the threading of ring polymers by linear polymers, which introduces topological constraints that hinder chain diffusion. We use LAMMPS to simulate blends of linear and ring polymers for long time scales to study the relaxation of these topological constraints. Ring-linear threadings are characterized using the Gauss linking integral, which provides a quantitative measure of the degree of entanglement in contrast to some previous attempts to characterize ring-linear threads.