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Experiments investigating the local viscoelastic properties of a simple uncross-linked flexible polymer are performed on polyethylene oxide solutions in the semidilute regime using polystyrene beads of varying sizes and surface chemistry as probes. We measure the thermal motions of the beads to obtain the elastic and viscous moduli of our sample. Two different dynamic light scattering techniques, diffusing wave spectroscopy and quasielastic light scattering (QELS), are used to determine the dynamics of the probe particles. Diffusing wave spectroscopy probes the short time dynamics of the scatterers while QELS or single scattering measures the dynamics at larger times. This results in a larger frequency overlap of the data obtained from the microrheological techniques with the data obtained from the conventional bulk measurements. The moduli are estimated using a modified algebraic form of the generalized Stokes-Einstein equation. Comparison of microrheology with bulk measurements shows excellent similarity confirming the applicability of this method for simple, uncross-linked polymeric systems.
Date Posted: 20 December 2005
This document has been peer reviewed.