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High and low molecular weight crossovers in the longest relaxation time dependence of linear cis-1,4 polyisoprene by dielectric relaxations

Abstract : The dielectric relaxation of cis-1,4 Polyisoprene [PI] is sensitive not only to the local and segmental dynamics but also to the larger scale chain (end-to-end) fluctuations. We have performed a careful dielectric investigation on linear PI with various molecular weights in the range of 1 to 320 kg/mol. The broadband dielectric spectra of all samples were measured isothermally at the same temperature to avoid utilizing shift factors. For the low and medium molecular weight range, the comparisons were performed at 250 K to access both the segmental relaxation and normal mode peaks inside the available frequency window (1 mHz-10 MHz). In this way, we were able to observe simultaneously the effect of molecular mass on the segmental dynamics--related with the glass transition process--and on the end-to-end relaxation time of PI and thus decouple the direct effect of molecular weight on the normal mode from that due to the effect on the monomeric friction coefficient. The latter effect is significant for low molecular weight (M w < 33 kg/mol), i.e., in the range where the crossover from Rouse dynamics to entanglement limited flow occurs. Despite the conductivity contribution at low frequency, careful experiments allowed us to access to the normal mode signal for molecular weights as high as M w = 320 kg/mol, i.e., into the range of high molecular weights where the pure reptation behavior could be valid, at least for the description of the slowest chain modes. The comparison between the dielectric relaxations of PI samples with medium and high molecular weight was performed at 320 K. We found two crossovers in the molecular weight dependence of the longest relaxation time, the first around a molecular weight of 6.5 ± 0.5 kg/mol corresponding to the end of the Rouse regime and the second around 75 ± 10 kg/mol. Above this latter value, we find a power law compatible with exponent 3 as predicted by the De Gennes theory.
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Clément Riedel, Angel Alegría, Philippe Tordjeman, Juan Colmenero. High and low molecular weight crossovers in the longest relaxation time dependence of linear cis-1,4 polyisoprene by dielectric relaxations. Rheologica Acta, Springer Verlag, 2010, vol. 49, pp. 507-512. ⟨10.1007/s00397-010-0433-1⟩. ⟨hal-00909519⟩

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