Dynamically Heterogeneous Relaxation of Entangled Polymer Chains

Yuecheng Zhou, Charles M. Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stress relaxation following deformation of an entangled polymeric liquid is thought to be affected by transient reforming of chain entanglements. In this work, we use single molecule techniques to study the relaxation of individual polymers in the transition regime from unentangled to entangled solutions. Our results reveal the emergence of dynamic heterogeneity underlying polymer relaxation behavior, including distinct molecular subpopulations described by a single-mode and a double-mode exponential relaxation process. The slower double-mode timescale τd,2 is consistent with a characteristic reptation time, whereas the single-mode timescale τs and the fast double-mode timescale τd,1 are attributed to local regions of transient disentanglement due to deformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number267801
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jun 26 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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