The present article presents a spatiotemporal growth of isotactic polypropylene (iPP) single crystals, melt crystallized from a polymeric solvent, i.e., poly (ethylene octene) copolymer that is known to be miscible with iPP. Optical and atomic force microscopic investigations reveal that the melt grown single crystals of iPP develop in the form of two parallel rows of crystal lamellae, but these crystals merge at the tips. To elucidate the mechanism of these emerging parallel rows of iPP crystals, a phase field model pertaining to solidification phenomena has been employed that involves a nonconserved crystal order parameter and a chain-tilting angle. This phase field model is based on the free energy of crystallization, having an asymmetric double well, and a tensorial surface free energy of the crystal interface coupled with a curvature elastic free energy that is possessed by the solid-liquid interface. The spatiotemporal simulation of iPP single crystal growth has been carried out on a square lattice based on the finite difference method for spatial steps and an explicit method for temporal steps with a periodic boundary condition. The appearance of the seemingly twin crystal is captured in the simulation, which may be attributed to the sector demarcation that is taking place in the anisotropically growing single crystal of iPP. (C) 2004 American Institute of Physics.
Journal of Chemical Physics
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Copyright 2004 American Institute of Physics. The original published version of this article may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1641001.
Mehta, Rujul; Keawwattana, Wirunya; and Kyu, Thein, "Growth Dynamics of Isotactic Polypropylene Single Crystals During Isothermal Crystallization from a Miscible Polymeric Solvent" (2004). College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. 50.