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Molecular Basis of the Shish-Kebab Morphology in Polymer Crystallization

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Science  18 May 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5827, pp. 1014-1017
DOI: 10.1126/science.1140132

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Abstract

In the rich and long-standing literature on the flow-induced formation of oriented precursors to polymer crystallization, it is often asserted that the longest, most extended chains are the dominant molecular species in the “shish” of the “shish-kebab” formation. We performed a critical examination of this widely held view, using deuterium labeling to distinguish different chain lengths within an overall distribution. Small-angle neutron-scattering patterns of the differently labeled materials showed that long chains are not overrepresented in the shish relative to their concentration in the material as a whole. We observed that the longest chains play a catalytic role, recruiting other chains adjacent to them into formation of the shish.

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