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Studies on Gelation Kinetics and Elasticity-Structure Relationship of Model Polymer Networks

Dr. Kengo Nishi Institute for Solid State Physics, The University of Tokyo

Model polymer network is defined as lattice type network such as triangular and diamond lattices in this study. Though model polymer network is considered as important model for rubbers and gels because of its simplicity, such type of polymer network has never been achieved experimentally. Recently, Sakai et al. succeeded in preparing near-ideal network such as a diamondlike tetrahedral structure by cross-end coupling of two types of tetra-arm polyethylene glycol (PEG) chains.[1] By using this gel, we begin to conduct several experiments for checking the validity of several theories of rubber elasticity, such as affine and phantom network.[2]
In this study, we systematically introduced connectivity-defects into this gel and discuss its effect.[3,4] We conducted mechanical and scattering measurements on connectivity-tuned gel and analyzed the results by using MD simulations and theories.

[1] Sakai, T. ; Matsunaga, T. ; Yamamoto, Y. ; Ito, C. ; Yoshida, R. ; Suzuki, S. ; Sasaki, N. ; Shibayama M. ; Chung, U. I., Macromolecules, 2008, 41, 5379-5384.

[2] Akagi, Y. ; Gong, J. P. ; Chung, U. I. ; Sakai, T., 2013, 46, 1035-1040.

[3] Nishi, K. ; Chijiishi, M. ; Katsumoto Y. ; Nakao, T. ; Fujii, K. ; Chung, U. ; Noguchi, H. ; Sakai, T. and Shibayama, M., J. Chem. Phys., 137, 1-7, 2012

[4] Nishi, K. ; Asai, H. ; Fujii, K. ; Han, Y.-S. ; Kim, T.-H. ; Sakai, T. and Shibayama M., Macromolecules, 47, 1801-1809, 2014.