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Monte Carlo study of multiply crosslinked semiflexible polymer networks

By E.M. Huisman, C. Storm and G.T. Barkema


We present a method to generate realistic, three-dimensional networks of crosslinked semiflexible polymers. The free energy of these networks is obtained from the force-extension characteristics of the individual polymers and their persistent directionality through the crosslinks. A Monte Carlo scheme is employed to obtain isotropic, homogeneous networks that minimize the free energy and for which all of the relevant parameters can be varied: the persistence length and the contour length as well as the crosslinking length may be chosen at will. We also provide an initial survey of the mechanical properties of our networks subjected to shear strains, showing them to display the expected nonlinear stiffening behavior. Also, a key role for nonaffinity and its relation to order in the network is uncovered

Year: 2008
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