Topological Sieving of Rings According to Their Rigidity

S Iubini and E Orlandini and D Michieletto and M Baiesi, ACS MACRO LETTERS, 7, 1408-1412 (2018).

DOI: 10.1021/acsmacrolett.8b00719

We present a novel mechanism for resolving the mechanical rigidity of nanoscopic circular polymers that flow in a complex environment. The emergence of a regime of negative differential mobility induced by topological interactions between the rings and the substrate is the key mechanism for selective sieving of circular polymers with distinct flexibilities. A simple model accurately describes the sieving process observed in molecular dynamics simulations and yields experimentally verifiable analytical predictions, which can be used as a reference guide for improving filtration procedures of circular filaments. The topological sieving mechanism we propose ought to be relevant also in probing the microscopic details of complex substrates.

Return to Publications page