Structure and thermodynamics of associating rods solutions
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, 60208-3108, Evanston, Illinois, USA
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Physical gelation in rod-like associating polymer solutions is analyzed by computer simulations and by mean field models. The structural gelation (SG) transition is determined by a rapid change in the cluster weight average. The analytically determined SG transition is in good agreement with the simulation results. At low temperatures we observe a peak in the heat capacity, which maximum is associated with phase segregation. The SG transition is sensitive to the number of associating groups per rod but nearly insensitive to the spatial distribution of associating groups around the rods. Phase segregation is strongly dependent on both the number and distribution of associating groups per rod. We find negligible overall nematic order near the SG transition and only partial local nematic order of the clusters at the phase segregation transitions.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2003