Diagrammatic analysis of correlations in polymer fluids: Cluster diagrams via Edwards' field theory

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Abstract

Edwards' functional integral approach to the statistical mechanics of polymer liquids is amenable to a diagrammatic analysis in which free energies and correlation functions are expanded as infinite sums of Feynman diagrams. This analysis is shown to lead naturally to a perturbative cluster expansion that is closely related to the Mayer cluster expansion developed for molecular liquids by Chandler and co-workers. Expansion of the functional integral representation of the grand-canonical partition function yields a perturbation theory in which all quantities of interest are expressed as functionals of a monomer-monomer pair potential, as functionals of intramolecular correlation functions of non-interacting molecules, and as functions of molecular activities. In different variants of the theory, the pair potential may be either a bare or a screened potential. A series of topological reductions yields a renormalized diagrammatic expansion in which collective correlation functions are instead expressed diagrammatically as functionals of the true single-molecule correlation functions in the interacting fluid, and as functions of molecular number density. Similar renormalized expansions are also obtained for a collective Ornstein-Zernicke direct correlation function, and for intramolecular correlation functions. A concise discussion is given of the corresponding Mayer cluster expansion, and of the relationship between the Mayer and perturbative cluster expansions for liquids of flexible molecules. The application of the perturbative cluster expansion to coarse-grained models of dense multi-component polymer liquids is discussed, and a justification is given for the use of a loop expansion. As an example, the formalism is used to derive a new expression for the wave-number dependent direct correlation function and recover known expressions for the intramolecular two-point correlation function to first-order in a renormalized loop expansion for coarse-grained models of binary homopolymer blends and diblock copolymer melts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2318-2389
Number of pages72
JournalAnnals of Physics
Volume321
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2006

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