Simulations of the mobile phase of polyethylene

TL Phillips, S Hanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Results are presented from atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of the mobile pseudo-hexagonal phase of polyethylene, which occurs under conditions of elevated pressure and temperature. Three different types of model are considered, all of which employ periodic boundary conditions. The first model consists of n-alkane sequences (48 x -C24H48-) that are bonded across the simulation box boundaries to produce chains that are effectively infinite in extent. On heating, at high pressure, this system displays a rotator phase, in which the chains retain an all-trans conformation, and rotate as semi-rigid units. A second model, consisting of finite n-alkanes (48 x C24H50) displays the same behaviour at low temperatures, but at high temperature and pressure forms a conformationally disordered rotator phase, characterised by a large proportion of gauche defects and a significant lattice expansion. The final model considered contains long n-alkanes (24 x C102H206) which contain jog defects and each pass twice through the simulation box. This model forms a conformationally disordered rotator phase at high temperature and ambient pressure. The behaviour of the three models, in terms of the variations in chain conformation and rotational and translational dynamics, are compared. The conformationally disordered phases provide useful representations of the experimentally observed mobile phase.
Translated title of the contributionSimulations of the mobile phase of polyethylene
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11035 - 11050
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Elsevier Science Ltd


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