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An Enhanced Scheme for Multiscale Modeling of Thermomechanical Properties of Polymer Bulks

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journal contribution
posted on 22.07.2021, 09:30 by Chaofu Wu, Kewen Li, Xutao Ning, Lei Zhang
While multiscale modeling significantly enhances the capability of molecular simulations of polymer systems, it is well realized that the systematically derived coarse-grained (CG) models generally underestimate the thermomechanical properties. In this work, a charge-based mapping scheme has been adopted to include explicit electrostatic interactions and benchmarked against two typical polymers, atactic poly­(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and polystyrene (PS). The CG potentials are parameterized against the oligomer bulks of nine monomers per chain to match the essential structural features and the two basic pressure–volume–temperature (PVT) properties, which are obtained from the all-atomistic (AA) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations at a single elevated temperature. The so-parameterized CG potentials are extended with the MD method to simulate the two polymer bulks of one hundred monomers per chain over a wide temperature range. Without any scaling, all the simulated results, including mass densities and bulk moduli at room temperature, thermal expansion coefficients at rubbery and glassy states, and glass transition temperatures (Tg), compare well with the corresponding experimental data. The proposed scheme not only contributes to realistically simulating various thermomechanical properties of both apolar and polar polymers but also allows for directly simulating their electrical properties.