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The vibrational spectrum and ultimate modulus of polyethylene

Barrera, G.D., Parker, S.F., Ramirez-Cuesta, A.J. and Mitchell, P.C.H. (2006) The vibrational spectrum and ultimate modulus of polyethylene. Macromolecules, 39 (7). pp. 2683-2690. ISSN 0024-9297

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1021/ma052602e

Abstract/Summary

We have performed the first completely ab initio lattice dynamics calculation of the full orthorhombic cell of polyethylene using periodic density functional theory in the local density approximation (LDA) and the generalized gradient approximation (GGA). Contrary to current perceptions, we show that LDA accurately describes the structure whereas GGA fails. We emphasize that there is no parametrization of the results. We then rigorously tested our calculation by computing the phonon dispersion curves across the entire Brillouin zone and comparing them to the vibrational spectra, in particular the inelastic neutron scattering (INS) spectra, of polyethylene (both polycrystalline and aligned) and perdeuteriopolyethylene. The F-point frequencies (where the infrared and Raman active modes occur) are in good agreement with the latest low temperature data. The near-perfect reproduction of the INS spectra, gives confidence in the results and allows Lis to deduce a number of physical properties including the elastic moduli, parallel and perpendicular to the chain. We find that the Young's modulus for an infinitely long, perfectly crystalline polyethylene is 360.2 GPa at 0 K. The highest experimental value is 324 GPa, indicating that current high modulus fibers are similar to 90% of their maximum possible strength.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:10994
Uncontrolled Keywords:INELASTIC NEUTRON-SCATTERING, SPACE GAUSSIAN PSEUDOPOTENTIALS, ALKALI-METAL HYDRIDES, ELASTIC-MODULUS, LATTICE-DYNAMICS, CRYSTALLINE, POLYETHYLENE, CHAIN DIRECTION, ACOUSTIC MODES, NORMAL-ALKANES, N-PARAFFINS

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