Animated sequence of snapshots from MD simulation showing a transient formation of a "molecular balloon"
This animation illustrates the dynamic processes leading to the spatial segregation of the polymer molecules
in a 60 nm droplet initially containing 16 wt.% of randomly oriented and distributed polymer chains.
The droplet is heated during the first 20 ps of the simulation, with the total amount of
the deposited thermal energy equal to 52% of the cohesive energy of the matrix material. The heating rate
corresponds to the partial inertial stress confinement - the conditions under which
compressive stresses build up during the heating process and contribute to the droplet expansion.
Fast heating (partial stress confinement), deposited energy is 0.52 Ec
Matrix molecules and units of polymer chains are shown by black and blue dots, respectively.
Polymer molecules in the front half of the computational cell are superimposed on top of the matrix molecules.
Only 2 nm slices cut through the centre of the droplet are shown in the right frame to highlight the bulging of
the cluster and segregation of the polymer molecules in the surface layer of the droplet.