Unusual conformations of semiflexible ring polymers confined in two parallel surfaces

XL Zhou and L Liu and JM Chen and LX Zhang, POLYMER, 157, 180-189 (2018).

DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2018.10.039

By employing molecular dynamics simulation, we explore the conformations of semiflexible ring polymers (SRPs) confined in two parallel surfaces. The conformations of confined SRPs rely on the distance between two parallel surfaces D and the chain stiffness as well as the interaction between SRPs and the surface. For strong confinements with the repulsive surface, SRPs are almost parallel to the surface, however, for weak confinements with the attractive surface, some SRPs are perpendicular to the surface owing to the competition between the attractive interactions and the topological constrains of SRPs. For the attractive surface, adsorption ability of SRPs decreases with the increase of chain stiffness K-b because disk-like conformations hinder more monomers to be adsorbed on the attractive surfaces, which is different completely from semiflexible linear polymers. Meanwhile, the shape of SRPs near the repulsive surface is oblate, while most of SRPs are prolate near the attractive surface. Moreover, confinements hinder large stack structures to be formed for SRPs, especially for the attractive surface. Our results can help us understand topological constraints for confined SRPs.

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