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Published November 2001 | Published
Journal Article Open

Short- and intermediate-time behavior of the linear stress relaxation in semiflexible polymers


The linear viscoelasticity of semiflexible polymers is studied through Brownian Dynamics simulations covering a broad range of chain stiffness and time scales. Our results agree with existing theoretical predictions in the flexible and stiff limits; however, we find that over a wide intermediate-time window spanning several decades, the stress relaxation is described by a single power law t^(-alpha), with the exponent alpha apparently varying continuously from 1/2 for flexible chains, to 5/4 for stiff ones. Our study identifies the limits of validity of the t^(-3/4) power law at short times predicted by recent theories. An additional regime is identified, the "ultrastiff" chains, where this behavior disappears. In the absence of Brownian motion, the purely mechanical stress relaxation produces a t^(-3/4) power law for both short and intermediate times.

Additional Information

©2001 The American Physical Society. Received 19 April 2001; published 26 October 2001. This work was supported by the Grant No. DMR-9970589 from the National Science Foundation. The computations were performed on multiprocessor computers provided by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at Urbana, and the Center for Advanced Computing Research at Caltech. The authors wish to thank David Morse for providing access to his recent work [5] and for helpful discussions.

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