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Glassiness and Heterogeneous Dynamics in Dense Solutions of Ring Polymers

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Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review Letters
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2017

Abstract

Understanding how topological constraints affect the dynamics of polymers in solution is at the basis of any polymer theory and it is particularly needed for melts of rings. These polymers fold as crumpled and space-filling objects and, yet, they display a large number of topological constraints. To understand their role, here we systematically probe the response of solutions of rings at various densities to "random pinning" perturbations. We show that these perturbations trigger non-Gaussian and heterogeneous dynamics, eventually leading to non-ergodic and glassy behaviours. We then derive universal scaling relations for the values of solution density and polymer length marking the onset of vitrification in unperturbed solutions. Finally, we directly connect the heterogeneous dynamics of the rings with their spatial organisation and mutual interpenetration. Our results suggest that deviations from the typical behaviours observed in systems of linear polymers may originate from architecture-specific (threading) topological constraints.

    Research areas

  • cond-mat.soft, cond-mat.stat-mech

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