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Crystal nucleation enhanced at the diffusive interface of immiscible polymer blends

Yu Ma, Liyun Zha, Wenbing Hu, Günter Reiter, Charles C. Han. Phys. Rev. E 77, 061801 (2008)

Abstract

We report dynamic Monte Carlo simulations of immiscible binary polymer blends, which exhibit weakly enhanced crystal nucleation near interfaces between two phase-separated polymers. We found that this enhancement is not accompanied by any preferred crystal orientation, implying its origin is mainly of enthalpic rather than entropic nature. Mean-field theory of polymer blends predicts that for immiscible polymers the melting point of the crystallizable component increases upon dilution in the other component, while it normally decreases for miscible blends. A local dilution is forced to occur at the diffuse interface of immiscible polymers; therefore the melting point of crystallizable polymers rises, which, in turn, enhances the thermodynamic driving force for crystal nucleation near the interface.

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