Torque-Induced Rotational Dynamics in Polymers: Torsional Blobs and Thinning

M Laleman and M Baiesi and BP Belotserkovskii and T Sakaue and JC Walter and E Carlon, MACROMOLECULES, 49, 405-414 (2016).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.5b01481

By using the blob theory and computer simulations, we investigate the properties of a linear polymer performing a stationary rotational motion around a long impenetrable rod. In particular, in the simulations the rotation is induced by a torque applied to the end of the polymer that is tethered to the rod. Three different regimes are found, in close analogy with the case of polymers pulled by a constant force at one end. For low torques the polymer rotates maintaining its equilibrium conformation. At intermediate torques the polymer assumes a trumpet shape, being composed by blobs of increasing size. At even larger torques the polymer is partially wrapped around the rod. We derive several scaling relations between various quantities as angular velocity, elongation, and torque. The analytical predictions match the simulation data well. Interestingly, we find a "thinning" regime where the torque has a very weak (logarithmic) dependence on the angular velocity. We discuss the origin of this behavior, which has no counterpart in polymers pulled by an applied force.

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