J. Phys. II France
Volume 3, Number 6, June 1993
Page(s) 891 - 902
DOI: 10.1051/jp2:1993173
J. Phys. II France 3 (1993) 891-902

Confinement of dilute solutions of living polymers

V. Schmitt1, F. Lequeux1 and C. M. Marques2

1  Laboratoire d'Ultrasons et de Dynamique des Fluides Complexes U.R.A. 851 CNRS, Institut Le Bel, 4 rue Blaise Pascal, 67070 Strasbourg Cedex, France
2  Institut Charles Sadron U.P.R. 022 CNRS, 6 rue Boussingault, 67083 Strasbourg Cedex, France

(Received 13 January 1993, accepted in final form 18 February 1993)

We investigate the thermodynamic properties of a dilute solution of living polymers confined between two solid repulsive walls. We consider both the case of rigid and of flexible macromolecules. When the confined system is taken to be at equilibrium with an external reservoir the living polymers behave similarly to a polydisperse solution of unbreakable chains. However for closed gaps the behaviour is quite different from a classical polymer solution because the worm-like micelles can adapt their intrinsic polydispersity in order to release the confinement constraint. In particular, for rigid living polymers this leads to a divergence of the average chain-length in the limit of strong confinement, as well as to a non-monotonic behaviour of the pressure acting on the walls.

63.20 - 61.25H - 68.15

© Les Editions de Physique 1993