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Polarization of polymers under electric field

  1. Dec 22, 2014 #1
    Hi,

    I'm thinking the following scenario.

    I have some solution in a container, where polymers are dissolved inside. If left so, the polymer will be homogeneous in the liquids. Now I add an electric field on the two sides of the container, will the polymers be polarized and stretched? So the orientation of the polymer is basically along the direction of the electric field? And how? Is there a threshold value for the strength of the electric field? And do I need to use some specific polymer which is "polarizable"? Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 22, 2014 #2

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    So, what are your thoughts on the questions you've posed?
     
  4. Dec 22, 2014 #3
    I want to know if this is possible. I'm afraid the polymer is not polarizable, or a very high electric field is required to polarize the polymer molecules.
     
  5. Dec 22, 2014 #4

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    Depends on the specific polymer, doesn't it? Have you a specific polymer in mind?
     
  6. Dec 22, 2014 #5
    Yes, I assume so. That's my question. I don't know which type of polymer should be used. Do you know where I can find this information?
     
  7. Dec 22, 2014 #6

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    This doesn't seem to be working as far as getting you to think about what you're asking. Everything, with the possible exception of empty space (talk to the QED and QFT crowd) is polarized in any non-zero electric field. You apparently want to orient and stretch a polymer molecule. Ain't gonna happen unless you happen to have a polymer with oppositely charged terminal groups. That can probably be done, but the random thermal motion of the intervening chain will completely swamp any effect. There is also the possibility of a polymer in which the monomer units within the chain are not only polarizable, but can also adopt a configuration in which the charged end of one unit is coupled to the oppositely charge end of the next, giving you a long chain of dipoles to align counter to the electric field; however, this is not going to be stretching in the field since there is coiling/folding of the polymer backbone to accommodate the coupling of the electric dipoles.
     
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