By use of the Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD) simulation technique mixtures of star-branched (arm number F = 4) and linear chains in athermal (good) solvent are analyzed regarding probabilities for intermolecular contacts of various reactive sites within different polymer coils. The accompanying sterical hindrances are described in the framework of shielding factors in order to investigate reactions and side reactions in radical polymerization and other techniques that involve polymerepolymer coupling. The shielding factors are studied as a function of total concentration from high dilution up to the bulk for different chain lengths of star-shaped and linear chains. Results indicate that their concentration dependence can be described by a power law for systems above the overlap concentration, whereas the chain length dependence vanishes when extrapolating to infinite chain lengths in that concentration range. Also the influence of the ratio of star chains and linear chains is studied for various concentrations.

This paper was originally published in Polymer (2013) 54, 4183-4193.

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