Large computer simulations on elastic networks: Small eigenvalues and eigenvalue spectra of the Kirchhoff matrix

Liang-Yuan Shy, B. E. Eichinger

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Computer simulations of the formation of trifunctional and tetrafunctional polydimethyl-siloxane networks that are crosslinked by condensation of telechelic chains with multifunctional crosslinking agents have been carried out on systems containing up to 1.05 × 106 chains. Eigenvalue spectra of Kirchhoff matrices for these networks have been evaluated at two levels of approximation: (1) inclusion of all midchain modes, and (2) suppression of midchain modes. By use of the recursion method of Haydock and Nex, we have been able to effectively diagonalize matrices with 730 498 rows and columns without actually constructing matrices of this size. The small eigenvalues have been computed by use of the Lanczos algorithm. We demonstrate the following results: (1) The smallest eigenvalues (with chain modes suppressed) vary as μ-2/3 for sufficiently large μ, where μ is the number of junctions in the network; (2) the eigenvalue spectra of the Kirchhoff matrices are well described by McKay's theory for random regular graphs in the range of the larger eigenvalues, but there are significant departures in the region of small eigenvalues where computed spectra have many more small eigenvalues than random regular graphs; (3) the smallest eigenvalues vary as n-1.78 where n is the number of Rouse beads in the chains that comprise the network. Computations are done for both monodisperse and polydisperse chain length distributions. Large eigenvalues associated with localized motion of the junctions are found as predicted by theory. The relationship between the small eigenvalues and the equilibrium modulus of elasticity is discussed, as is the relationship between viscoelasticity and the band edge of the spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5179-5189
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1989 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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