Brownian dynamics simulations of nanosheet solutions under shear
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The flow-induced conformation dynamics of nanosheets are simulated using a Brownian Dynamics (BD) formulation applied to a bead-rod sheetlike molecular model. This is the first-ever use of BD to simulate flow-induced dynamics of two-dimensional structures. Using this framework, we simulate dilute suspensions of coarse-grained nanosheets and compute conformation dynamics for simple shear flow. The data show power law scaling relationships between nanosheet parameters (such as bending moduli and molecular weight) and the resulting intrinsic viscosity and conformation. For nonzero bending moduli, an effective dimension of 2.77 at equilibrium is calculated from the scaling relationship between radius of gyration and molecular weight. We also find that intrinsic viscosity varies with molecular weight with an exponent of 2.12 ± 0.23; this dependence is significantly larger than those found for linear polymers. Weak shear thinning is observed at high Weissenberg number (Wi). This simulation method provides a computational basis for developing manufacturing processes for nanosheet-derived materials by relating flow forces and nanosheet parameters to the resulting material morphology.
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