Topology and Dynamics of Ring Polymers

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Physics and Theory".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 September 2021) | Viewed by 2696

Special Issue Editors

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras & FORTH-ICE/HT, GR 26504 Patras, Greece
Interests: molecular modeling; molecular simulations; polymer physics; rheology, statistical mechanics
Department of Chemical Engineering, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus
Interests: equilibrium thermodynamics; statistical thermodynamics; non-equilibrium thermodynamics; statistical mechanics; physical and chemical processes; statistical mechanics of polymers; polymer mechanics and physics; nanomaterials; dynamics of polymeric liquids; polymer rheology; fluid mechanics; polymer physics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

Nonconcatenated ring polymers, i.e., macromolecules with linked chain ends, constitute a unique class of macromolecular materials to which established molecular mechanisms that are based on the motion of free chain ends, such as reptation through an effective confining tube, contour length fluctuations, and constraint release, do not directly apply; thus, we are in need of new concepts and theories for understanding their dynamics, conformation, and flow properties. Intense research work over the years has documented that ring polymers exhibit fascinating dynamic and viscoelastic properties that are quite often exceptionally different from those of their linear analogues and variants thereof (e.g., branched, H-shaped, star, comb). For example, we know today that ring polymers flow faster and assume more compact structures than linear counterparts, they do not exhibit the well-known entanglement plateau, their extensional viscosity dramatically increases under uniaxial stretching at low stretching rates, and their response to nonlinear shear and extensional flows is sensitive to small levels of linear contamination. It is also true that due to these distinctive properties, ring polymers find extended uses in several applications in modern areas of biotechnology, biology, and materials science. Understanding the behavior of ring polymers under flow conditions, in particular, can open a new route in our efforts to exploit their unique viscoelastic properties in order to design more efficient new materials and structures with controlled and highly tunable properties.

This Special Issue of Polymers invites contributions addressing all aspects of ring polymer rheology using experiments or theory or simulation. Topics may include the investigation of flow dynamics of DNA rings, measurements of the response of synthetic ring polymer melts or their blends with linear counterparts under shear or extensional flows, nonequilibrium simulations of ring polymer melts and solutions, new theoretical approaches, and the linear and nonlinear rheology of ring polymer nanocomposites. The above is only an indicative and by no means exhaustive list; on the contrary, any original work or review article on the rheology of ring polymers will be highly welcome!

Dr. Dimitrios Tsalikis
Dr. Pavlos Stephanou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Ring polymer melts, solutions, blends, nanocomposites
  • Circular DNA
  • Nonlinear rheology, shear rheology, extensional rheology
  • Simulations (molecular, coarse-grained, Brownian, slip-link models)

Published Papers (1 paper)

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15 pages, 4487 KiB  
Effects of Topological Constraints on Penetration Structures of Semi-Flexible Ring Polymers
Polymers 2020, 12(11), 2659; - 11 Nov 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1942
The effects of topological constraints on penetration structures of semi-flexible ring polymers in a melt are investigated using molecular dynamics simulations, considering simultaneously the effects of the chain stiffness. Three topology types of rings are considered: 01-knot (the unknotted), 31 [...] Read more.
The effects of topological constraints on penetration structures of semi-flexible ring polymers in a melt are investigated using molecular dynamics simulations, considering simultaneously the effects of the chain stiffness. Three topology types of rings are considered: 01-knot (the unknotted), 31-knot and 61-knot ring polymers, respectively. With the improved algorithm to detect and quantify the inter-ring penetration (or inter-ring threading), the degree of ring threading does not increase monotonously with the chain stiffness, existing a peak value at the intermediate stiffness. It indicates that rings interpenetrate most at intermediate stiffness where there is a balance between coil expansion (favoring penetrations) and stiffness (inhibiting penetrations). Meanwhile, the inter-ring penetration would be suppressed with the knot complexity of the rings. The analysis of effective potential between the rings provides a better understanding for this non-monotonous behavior in inter-ring penetration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Topology and Dynamics of Ring Polymers)
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