The miscibility of polymer blends, a classical problem in polymer science, may be altered, if one or both of the component do not have chain ends. Based on the idea of topological volume, we propose a mean-field theory to clarify how the topological constraints in ring polymers affect the phase behavior of the blends. While the large enhancement of the miscibility is expected for ring-linear polymer blends, the opposite trend toward demixing, albeit comparatively weak, is predicted for ring-ring polymer blends. Scaling formulas for the shift of critical point for both cases are derived. We discuss the valid range of the present theory, and the crossover to the linear polymer blends behaviors, which is expected for short chains. These analyses put forward a view that the topological constraints could be represented as an effective excluded-volume effects, in which the topological length plays a role of the screening factor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics