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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  2. A thorough study is made of the dependences on salt concentration and polymer chain lengths of the low-frequency plateau of coacervates of poly (diallyl dimethyl ammonium chloride), PDADMAC, and poly (sodium 4-styrenesulfonate), PSS. The reliability and reproducibility of these measurements are carefully checked by determining the frequency-dependent stress limits of the rheometer through the use of reference fluids and by repeat experiments with coacervates. Long-time frequency sweeps show that coacervates with less salt are more repeatable than those with higher salt. A low-frequency plateau reliably appears only below a critical salt concentration, and the magnitude of the plateau depends strongly on salt concentration and chain lengths of both polycation and polyanion. It is only present for the molecular weight of the polycation, PDADMAC, higher than 100 kDa, but the magnitude of the plateau is more strongly influenced by the chain length of the polyanion, PSS. Possible causes of the low-frequency plateau are discussed. 
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  3. We examine linear and nonlinear shear and extensional rheological properties using a “micelle-slip-spring model” [T. Sato et al., J. Rheol. 64, 1045–1061 (2020)] that incorporates breakage and rejoining events into the slip-spring model originally developed by Likhtman [Macromolecules 38, 6128–6139 (2005)] for unbreakable polymers. We here employ the Fraenkel potential for main chain springs and slip-springs to address the effect of finite extensibility. Moreover, to improve extensional properties under a strong extensional flow, stress-induced micelle breakage (SIMB) is incorporated into the micelle-slip-spring model. Thus, this model is the first model that includes the entanglement constraint, Rouse modes, finite extensibility, breakage and rejoining events, and stress-induced micelle breakage. Computational expense currently limits the model to micellar solutions with moderate numbers of entanglements ([Formula: see text]), but for such solutions, nearly quantitative agreement is attained for the start-up of the shearing flow. The model in the extensional flow cannot yet be tested owing to the lack of data for this entanglement level. The transient and steady shear properties predicted by the micelle-slip-spring model for a moderate shear rate region without significant chain stretch are fit well by the Giesekus model but not by the Phan–Thien/Tanner (PTT) model, which is consistent with the ability of the Giesekus model to match experimental shear data. The extensional viscosities obtained by the micelle-slip-spring model with SIMB show thickening followed by thinning, which is in qualitative agreement with experimental trends. Additionally, the extensional rheological properties of the micelle-slip-spring model with or without SIMB are poorly predicted by both the Giesekus and the PTT models using a single nonlinear parameter. Thus, future work should seek a constitutive model able to capture the behavior of the slip-spring model in shear and extensional flows and so provide an accurate, efficient model of micellar solution rheology. 
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