Transient interfacial tension and dilatational rheology of diffuse polymer-polymer interfaces

G.W.M. Peters, A.N. Zdravkov, H.E.H. Meijer

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We demonstrate the influence of molecular weight and molecular weightasymmetry across an interface on the transient behavior of the interfacial tension. The interfacial tension was measured as a function of time for a range of polymer combinations with a broadrange of interfacial properties using a pendant/ sessile drop apparatus. The results show that neglecting mutual solubility, assumed to be a reasonable approximation in many cases, very often does not sustain. Instead, a diffuse interface layer develops in time with a corresponding transient interfacial tension. Depending on the specific combination of polymers, the transient interfacial tension is found to increase or decrease with time. The results are interpreted in terms of a recently proposed model\cite{Shi_etal2004}, giving relativecharacteristic diffusion time scales in terms of molecular weight, molecular weight distribution and viscosities. However, the time scales obtained from this theoretical approach do not give a conclusive trend. Using oscillatory dilatational interfacial experiments the viscoelastic behavior of these diffusive interfaces is demonstrated. The time evolution of the interfacial tension and thedilatational elasticity show the same trend aspredicted by the theory of diffuse interfaces, supporting the idea that the polymer combinations under consideration indeed form diffuse interfaces. The dilatational elasticity and the dilatationalviscosity show a frequency dependency that is described qualitatively by a simple Fickian diffusion model and quantitatively by a Maxwell model. The characteristic diffusion times provided by the lattershow that the systems with thick interfaces (tens of micrometers and more) can be considered as slowdiffusive systems while the systems with thinner interfaces (a few micrometers and less) can be considered as fast diffusive systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104901-1/10
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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