Friday, April 10, 2015

Active one-particle microrheology of an unentangled polymer melt studied by molecular dynamics simulation

A. Kuhnhold and W. Paul

We present molecular dynamics simulations for active one-particle microrheology of an unentangled polymer melt. The tracer particle is forced to oscillate by an oscillating harmonic potential, which models an experiment using optical tweezers. The amplitude and phase shift of this oscillation are related to the complex shear modulus of the polymer melt. In the linear response regime at low frequencies, the active microrheology gives the same result as the passive microrheology, where the thermal motion of a tracer particle is related to the complex modulus. We expand the analysis to include full hydrodynamic effects instead of stationary Stokes friction only, and show that different approaches suggested in the literature lead to completely different results, and that none of them improves on the description using the stationary Stokes friction.

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