Volume 79, Number 6, September 2007
Article Number 66007
Number of page(s) 6
Section Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Published online 05 September 2007
EPL, 79 (2007) 66007
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/79/66007

Correlation effects in dynamics of living polymers

I. A. Nyrkova and A. N. Semenov

Institut Charles Sadron - 6 rue Boussingault, 67083 Strasbourg Cedex, France

received 1 March 2007; accepted in final form 29 July 2007; published September 2007
published online 5 September 2007

Theoretically studying the dynamics of entangled living polymers which can reversibly break and recombine, we find a number of diffusion-controlled regimes of essentially non-exponential stress relaxation. This behavior is in contrast to predictions of the classical theory of Cates and its more recent generalizations. The non-exponential relaxation is due to strong correlations between chain scissions and recombinations: multiple self-recombinations are much more frequent than recombinations with other chains and are resulting in fast release of topological constraints (entanglement tube coarsening). The strong renormalization effect of correlations on the lifetime of a living chain (the time period $\tau _{b}^{*}$ until the chain breaks and one of its fragments recombines with another chain) is also elucidated. We show that the correlation effects defining the dynamics are controlled by the activation energy for chain recombination and by the chain rigidity.

61.25.Hq - Macromolecular and polymer solutions; polymer melts; swelling.
83.80.Qr - Surfactant and micellar systems, associated polymers.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007