2021 Volume 49 Issue 5 Pages 337-345
Although the entanglement network among polymers has been widely investigated, the spatial distribution of entanglement nodes has been rarely discussed. In this study, we obtained the radial distribution functions (RDFs) for the entanglement nodes from the snapshots of multi-chain slip-link simulations. The model employed in this study is the primitive chain network (PCN) model, which has been validated to reproduce the entangled polymer dynamics semi-quantitatively. The statistics of captured entanglement networks were compared to those reported for the primitive path network extracted by the CReTA procedure from the full-atomistic molecular model of a polyethylene melt. In the range of distance longer than the average strand length, the network structure from PCN does not show any structural correlation, and the intra-chain correlation is close to that for Gaussian chains with non-interacting slip-links. These features are consistent with the CReTA network and the conventional assumptions made for single-chain models. Meanwhile, in the short-range, the structural correlation in PCN is much weaker than that in CReTA. This discrepancy is because the short-range structure in PCN is realized as a result of imposed fluctuations, whereas it is determined by the minimization of the primitive path in CReTA.