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Confined Dynamics of Grafted Polymer Chains in Solutions of Linear Polymer

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-09-11, 16:22 authored by Ryan Poling-Skutvik, Katy N. Olafson, Suresh Narayanan, Laura Stingaciu, Antonio Faraone, Jacinta C. Conrad, Ramanan Krishnamoorti
We measure the dynamics of high molecular weight polystyrene grafted to silica nanoparticles dispersed in semidilute solutions of linear polymer. Structurally, the linear free chains do not penetrate the grafted corona but increase the osmotic pressure of the solution, collapsing the grafted polymer and leading to eventual aggregation of the grafted particles at high matrix concentrations. Dynamically, the relaxations of the grafted polymer are controlled by the solvent viscosity according to the Zimm model on short time scales. On longer time scales, the grafted chains are confined by neighboring grafted chains, preventing full relaxation over the experimental time scale. Adding free linear polymer to the solution does not affect the initial Zimm relaxations of the grafted polymer but does increase the confinement of the grafted chains. Our results elucidate the physics underlying the slow relaxations of grafted polymer.

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