Dielectric relaxation of dipole-inverted polar polymers as studied by computer simulations

Yiannis N. Kaznessis, Davide A. Hill, Edward J. Maginn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We use molecular dynamics simulations to examine the dielectric relaxation of polar macromolecules with dipoles parallel to the chain backbone. Analysis of the simulation trajectories closely follows the treatment of Watanabe and co-workers for experimental results of dipole-inverted cis-polyisoprene solutions. The important observable quantity in experiments and simulations is the dielectric loss spectrum ε″(ω), whose shape reflects the distribution of relaxation processes for the global chain motion. The observed broadening of the spectra with increasing polymer concentration, classically attributed to overlapping of the chains, is analyzed quantitatively using a local correlation function C(n,t;m) = 1/a2 〈u(n,t)·u(m,O)〉, where u(n,t) is the bond vector of the nth segment of the chain at time t, and a2 = 〈u2〉. At long times, C(n,t;m) can be expanded as a sum of its eigenmodes: C(n,t;m) = 2/NΣp = 1nfp(n)fp(m)exp(-t/τp), where N is the size of the chain and τp and fp are the relaxation time and the eigenfunction of the pth mode. From simulations we calculate the time correlation functions and dielectric loss spectra of multi-inverted and asymmetrically inverted polar polymers. We compute the relaxation times τp and the eigenfunctions of C(t,n;m). The relaxation times follow a power-law dependence τp∝p-y, with γ≈2.08, and the ratios τp1 remain independent of the concentration, a behavior predicted by the Rouse model. On the other hand, the dependence of fp on n deviates progressively with increasing density from the Rouse model sinusoidal prediction. The results reveal that the broadening of the spectra is a result of changes in the distribution of eigenmodes (fp), and not in the relaxation time span γ. Our findings are consistent with the experimental observations, clearly demonstrating the adequacy of simulations for investigating the dynamic behavior of macromolecular systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6679-6686
Number of pages8
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 5 1999

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