Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

It looks like rubber but isn't: What goes on in a concentrated solution of circular polymers?

Date:
March 21, 2014
Source:
Sissa Medialab
Summary:
The experimental and numerical study of the behavior of polymers in concentrated solutions is a line of research that is still highly active. In the past, it enabled us to understand why materials like rubber have certain elastic properties. A distinctive feature of these systems is that the long “chained” molecules composing them tend to penetrate each other and interweave at their ends forming very durable bonds that make them always return to their initial conformation whenever they are “stretched”.

This is a solution of ring polymers (each color corresponds to one polymer).
Credit: SISSA

The experimental and numerical study of the behaviour of polymers in concentrated solutions is a line of research that is still highly active. In the past, it enabled us to understand why materials like rubber have certain elastic properties. A distinctive feature of these systems is that the long “chained” molecules composing them tend to penetrate each other and interweave at their ends forming very durable bonds that make them always return to their initial conformation whenever they are “stretched”.

Related Articles


The behaviour of dense solutions of “ring” polymers, i.e., polymers that form closed loops like rings and have no free ends, is very different. Angelo Rosa, a theoretical physicist from the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, and Ralf Everaers from the Ιcole Normale Supιrieure de Lyon devised a highly efficient numerical method to study these materials, a method which they intend to apply to biology in the future.

“Ring polymers – by construction – don’t have free ends and so when in a solution they cannot interweave with each other and form bonds as the more common linear polymers do”, explains Rosa. “This causes them to behave very differently from linear polymers. So we wanted to understand the physics of these peculiar solutions and we constructed some models of ring polymers that allowed us to predict their behaviour. We then compared the models we created with other earlier simulations conducted with different methods, and found that they confirmed our findings”.

“The really interesting thing about our study is that it considerably reduces analysis time, which means the method is highly efficient”, the researcher adds. “We found that compared to dense solutions of linear polymers, which form the base of the more common visco-elastic materials such as rubber, these materials are much more fragile because a ring polymer interweaves very little with the others and remains “topologically” always confined within a restricted region”.

Rosa and Everaers point out that they will now continue to develop their research in the field of biology. “We think that our models of ring polymers are useful to understand chromosomes dissolved in the cell nucleus”, says Rosa. “Even though it isn’t a circular polymer, a chromosome behaves in a very similar manner, in that it remains topologically isolated from the other chromosomes dissolved in the cytoplasm for a long time”.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Sissa Medialab. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Angelo Rosa, Ralf Everaers. Ring Polymers in the Melt State: The Physics of Crumpling. Physical Review Letters, 2014; 112 (11) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.118302

Cite This Page:

Sissa Medialab. "It looks like rubber but isn't: What goes on in a concentrated solution of circular polymers?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140321094845.htm>.
Sissa Medialab. (2014, March 21). It looks like rubber but isn't: What goes on in a concentrated solution of circular polymers?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140321094845.htm
Sissa Medialab. "It looks like rubber but isn't: What goes on in a concentrated solution of circular polymers?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140321094845.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins