Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Computational Science Joint PhD with San Diego State University, PhD

Program

School of Mathematical Sciences

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Arlette R. C. Baljon

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Andrew L. Cooksy

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Peter Salamon

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Allon Percus

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Joris Billen

Abstract

Telechelic associating polymer networks consist of polymer chains terminated by endgroups that have a different chemical composition than the polymer backbone. When dissolved in a solution, the endgroups cluster together to form aggregates. At low temperature, a strongly connected reversible network is formed and the system behaves like a gel. Telechelic networks are of interest since they are representative for biopolymer networks (e.g. F-actin) and are widely used in medical applications (e.g. hydrogels for tissue engineering, wound dressings) and consumer products (e.g. contact lenses, paint thickeners).

In this thesis such systems are studied by means of a molecular dynamics/Monte Carlo simulation. At first, the system in rest is studied by means of graph theory. The changes in network topology upon cooling to the gel state, are characterized. Hereto an extensive study of the eigenvalue spectrum of the gel network is performed. As a result, an in-depth investigation of the eigenvalue spectra for spatial ER, scale-free, and small-world networks is carried out. Next, the gel under the application of a constant shear is studied, with a focus on shear banding and the changes in topology under shear. Finally, the relation between the gel transition and percolation is discussed.

Comments

Fourth Committee Member: Adam Landsberg

DOI

10.5642/cguetd/51

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