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Title: Theory of Spatial Gradients of Relaxation, Vitrification Temperature and Fragility of Glass-Forming Polymer Liquids Near Solid Substrates
Authors: Anh D. Phan
Kenneth S. Schweizer
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: ACS Publications
Abstract: We employ a new force-level statistical mechanical theory to predict spatial gradients of the structural relaxation time and Tg of polymer liquids near microscopically rough and smooth hard surfaces and contrast the results with vapor interface systems. Repulsive rough (smooth) surfaces induce large slowing down (modest speeding up) of the relaxation time compared to the bulk. Nevertheless, a remarkable degree of universality of distinctive dynamical behaviors is predicted for different polymer chemistries and all interfaces, including a double exponential form of the alpha time gradient, power law decoupling of the relaxation time from its bulk value with exponential spatial variation of the exponent, exponential spatial gradient of Tg, weak dependence of normalized Tg gradients on vitrification criterion, and near linear growth with cooling of the slowed down layer thickness near a rough hard interface. The results appear consistent with simulations and experiments, and multiple testable predictions are made.
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