A time-integrated estimate of the entanglement mass in polymer melts in agreement with the one determined by time-resolved measurements

J.T. Padding, Willem J. Briels

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We make a critical examination of how the entanglement molecular mass Me is determined from various measurable quantities. We are guided by reptation theory, where it is assumed that characteristic relaxations abruptly change and become equal to those of a chain moving in a Gaussian tube, as soon as the corresponding length scales surpass the tube diameter d or similarly as soon as the corresponding mass surpasses a critical value. Taking this critical mass as a definition of the "reptational" entanglement mass, we observe that all methods based on time-resolved quantities, such as the single-chain dynamic structure factor S(q,t) and the zero-shear relaxation modulus G(t), give the same result. We observe that such a value differs, beyond error bars, from that obtained from the plateau modulus, which is a time-integrated quantity. We have investigated an alternative definition of entanglement mass in terms of time-integrated quantities and observe that the value of this specific entanglement mass is consistent with that obtained from the time-resolved observables. We comment on possible reasons for the plateau modulus discrepancy.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)2996-3002
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of chemical physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • METIS-218914
  • IR-59917

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