Packaging of a Polyelectrolyte into a Neutral Spherical Cavity

DA Goldfeld and A Cacciuto, MACROMOLECULES, 42, 4874-4877 (2009).

DOI: 10.1021/ma900373a

Using molecular dynamics simulations, we studied how salt valency and concentration affect the forces required to tightly package a charged chain into a neutral, salt-permeable spherical shell. We find that in the presence of multivalent salt the packaging energy can he lowered to a value smaller than what is required to confine a neutral, fully flexible chain in the same cavity. In addition. we find that at high chain packing fractions there exists it threshold salt concentration above which the packaging free energy, Delta F, saturates, and we show how Delta F is completely independent of salt concentration when the salt is monovalent.

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