Multiscale modeling of binary polymer mixtures: Scale bridging in the athermal and thermal regime.

Department of Chemistry and Institute of Theoretical Science, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403, USA.
The Journal of Chemical Physics (Impact Factor: 3.12). 09/2010; 133(9):094904. DOI: 10.1063/1.3483236
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Obtaining a rigorous and reliable method for linking computer simulations of polymer blends and composites at different length scales of interest is a highly desirable goal in soft matter physics. In this paper a multiscale modeling procedure is presented for the efficient calculation of the static structural properties of binary homopolymer blends. The procedure combines computer simulations of polymer chains on two different length scales, using a united atom representation for the finer structure and a highly coarse-grained approach on the mesoscale, where chains are represented as soft colloidal particles interacting through an effective potential. A method for combining the structural information by inverse mapping is discussed, allowing for the efficient calculation of partial correlation functions, which are compared with results from full united atom simulations. The structure of several polymer mixtures is obtained in an efficient manner for several mixtures in the homogeneous region of the phase diagram. The method is then extended to incorporate thermal fluctuations through an effective χ parameter. Since the approach is analytical, it is fully transferable to numerous systems.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A coarse-grained (CG) model of polyethylene glycol (PEG) was developed and implemented in CG molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of PEG chains with degree of polymerization (DP) 20 and 40. In the model, two repeat units of PEG are grouped as one CG bead. Atomistic MD simulation of PEG chains with DP = 20 was first conducted to obtain the bonded structural probability distribution functions (PDFs) and nonbonded pair correlation function (PCF) of the CG beads. The bonded CG potentials are obtained by simple inversion of the corresponding PDFs. The CG nonbonded potential is parameterized to the PCF using both an inversion procedure based on the Ornstein-Zernike equation with the Percus-Yevick approximation (OZPY(-1)) and a combination of OZPY(-1) with the iterative Boltzmann inversion (IBI) method (OZPY(-1)+IBI). As a simple one step method, the OZPY(-1) method possesses an advantage in computational efficiency. Using the potential from OZPY(-1) as an initial guess, the IBI method shows fast convergence. The coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD) simulations of PEG chains with DP = 20 using potentials from both methods satisfactorily reproduce the structural properties from atomistic MD simulation of the same systems. The OZPY(-1)+IBI method yields better agreement than the OZPY(-1) method alone. The new CG model and CG potentials from OZPY(-1)+IBI method was further tested through CGMD simulation of PEG with DP = 40 system. No significant changes are observed in the comparison of PCFs from CGMD simulations of PEG with DP = 20 and 40 systems indicating that the potential is independent of chain length.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 12/2011; 135(21):214903. · 3.12 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present a detailed derivation and testing of our approach to rescale the dynamics of mesoscale simulations of coarse-grained polymer melts (I. Y. Lyubimov, J. McCarty, A. Clark, and M. G. Guenza, J. Chem. Phys. 132, 224903 (2010)). Starting from the first-principle Liouville equation and applying the Mori-Zwanzig projection operator technique, we derive the generalized Langevin equations (GLEs) for the coarse-grained representations of the liquid. The chosen slow variables in the projection operators define the length scale of coarse graining. Each polymer is represented at two levels of coarse graining: monomeric as a bead-and-spring model and molecular as a soft colloid. In the long-time regime where the center-of-mass follows Brownian motion and the internal dynamics is completely relaxed, the two descriptions must be equivalent. By enforcing this formal relation we derive from the GLEs the analytical rescaling factors to be applied to dynamical data in the coarse-grained representation to recover the monomeric description. Change in entropy and change in friction are the two corrections to be accounted for to compensate the effects of coarse graining on the polymer dynamics. The solution of the memory functions in the coarse-grained representations provides the dynamical rescaling of the friction coefficient. The calculation of the internal degrees of freedom provides the correction of the change in entropy due to coarse graining. The resulting rescaling formalism is a function of the coarse-grained model and thermodynamic parameters of the system simulated. The rescaled dynamics obtained from mesoscale simulations of polyethylene, represented as soft-colloidal particles, by applying our rescaling approach shows a good agreement with data of translational diffusion measured experimentally and from simulations. The proposed method is used to predict self-diffusion coefficients of new polyethylene samples.
    Physical Review E 09/2011; 84(3 Pt 1):031801. · 2.31 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper outlines the derivation of an analytical pair potential in a coarse grained description of polymer melts where each chain is represented as a collection of soft spheres. Each particle is located at the center of mass of a polymer subchain, while the polymer is divided into an arbitrary number of identical chain subsections, each comprised of a large number of monomers. It is demonstrated that the soft effective pair potentials acting between these center-of-mass sites is described by a soft repulsive region at separation distances less than the average size of each coarse grained unit and a long repulsive tail, with a small attractive component. The attractive component is located at a length scale beyond the size of the coarse grained unit and its form varies with the level of interpenetration between the coarse-grained units. Consistent with numerically derived potentials, it is found that the short range features of the potential dominate the liquid structure, while the long-tail features dominate the virial-route thermodynamics of the system. It follows that the accurate determination of the effective potential in both short and large separation distances is relevant for ensuring structural and thermodynamic consistency in the coarse-grained description of the macromolecular liquid. It is further shown that due to the sensitivity of thermodynamic properties to the large-scale features of the potential, which are irrelevant to the reproducibility of structural correlations, the determination of thermodynamically accurate potentials by numerical optimization of structure alone is not a reliable strategy in the high-density regime for high levels of coarse-graining.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 09/2013; 139(12):124906. · 3.12 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 2, 2014