, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 349-354
Date: 22 Aug 2007

Hydrodynamic screening of star polymers in shear flow

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The mutual effects of the conformations of a star polymer in simple shear flow and the deformation of the solvent flow field are investigated by a hybrid mesoscale simulation technique. We characterize the flow field near the star polymer as a function of its functionality (arm number) f . A strong screening of the imposed flow is found inside the star polymer, which increases with increasing f . To elucidate the importance of hydrodynamic screening, we compare results for hydrodynamic and random solvents. The dependence of the polymer orientation angle on the Weissenberg number shows a power law behavior with super-universal exponent --independent of hydrodynamic and excluded-volume interactions. In contrast, the polymer rotation frequency changes qualitatively when hydrodynamic interactions are switched on.