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J Chem Phys. 2006 Aug 7;125(5):054909.

Theoretical analysis of polydispersity in the nematic phase of self-assembled semiflexible chains.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.

Abstract

In recent simulations of semiflexible equilibrium polymers [X. Lu and J. T. Kindt, J. Chem. Phys. 120, 10328 (2004)] a roughly biexponential distribution of chain lengths was observed in the nematic phase. In this study, we show that a theory representing the nematic phase as an equilibrium mixture of randomly oriented chains below a critical length Lc and chains above Lc obeying a Gaussian orientational distribution reproduces this distribution qualitatively. The agreement between predicted and simulated phase boundaries is improved, with a narrower isotropic-nematic coexistence region, compared with a monoexponential chain distribution. We find, furthermore, that the critical length Lc scales as the inverse of monomer concentration, irrespective of the bond strength of the chains, but that at the phase boundary, the fraction of monomers found in disordered chains peaks at a certain bond strength.

PMID:
16942259
DOI:
10.1063/1.2234478

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