A microscopic theory for the effect of applied stress on the transverse topological confinement potential and slow dynamics of heavily entangled rigid rods is presented. The confining entanglement force localizing a polymer in a tube is predicted to have a finite strength. As a consequence, three regimes of terminal relaxation behavior are predicted with increasing stress: accelerated reptation due to tube widening (dilation), relaxation via deformation-assisted activated transverse barrier hopping, and complete destruction of the lateral tube constraints corresponding to microscopic yielding or a disentanglement transition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry