, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 57-62
Date: 30 Jul 2008

Field-theoretical Renormalization-Group approach to critical dynamics of crosslinked polymer blends

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Abstract

We consider a crosslinked polymer blend that may undergo a microphase separation. When the temperature is changed from an initial value towards a final one very close to the spinodal point, the mixture is out equilibrium. The aim is the study of dynamics at a given time t, before the system reaches its final equilibrium state. The dynamics is investigated through the structure factor, S(q, t), which is a function of the wave vector q, temperature T, time t, and reticulation dose D. To determine the phase behavior of this dynamic structure factor, we start from a generalized Langevin equation (model C) solved by the time composition fluctuation. Beside the standard de Gennes Hamiltonian, this equation incorporates a Gaussian local noise, ζ. First, by averaging over ζ, we get an effective Hamiltonian. Second, we renormalize this dynamic field theory and write a Renormalization-Group equation for the dynamic structure factor. Third, solving this equation yields the behavior of S(q, t), in space of relevant parameters. As result, S(q, t) depends on three kinds of lengths, which are the wavelength q −1, a time length scale R(t) ∼ t 1/z , and the mesh size ξ *. The scale R(t) is interpreted as the size of growing microdomains at time t. When R(t) becomes of the order of ξ *, the dynamics is stopped. The final time, t *, then scales as t *ξ * z, with the dynamic exponent z = 6−η. Here, η is the usual Ising critical exponent. Since the final size of microdomains ξ * is very small (few nanometers), the dynamics is of short time. Finally, all these results we obtained from renormalization theory are compared to those we stated in some recent work using a scaling argument.