Polyelectrolyte Threading through a Nanopore

PY Hsiao, POLYMERS, 8 (2016).

DOI: 10.3390/polym8030073

Threading charged polymers through a nanopore, driven by electric fields E, is investigated by means of Langevin dynamics simulations. The mean translocation time GRAPHICS is shown to follow a scaling law GRAPHICS , and the exponent alpha increases monotonically from GRAPHICS to GRAPHICS with E. The result is double-checked by the calculation of mean square displacement of translocation coordinate, which asserts a scaling behavior GRAPHICS (for t near tau) with beta complying with the relation GRAPHICS . At a fixed chain length N, GRAPHICS displayed a reciprocal scaling behavior GRAPHICS in the weak and also in the strong fields, connected by a transition GRAPHICS in the intermediate fields. The variations of the radius of gyration of chain and the positions of chain end are monitored during a translocation process; far-from-equilibrium behaviors are observed when the driving field is strong. A strong field can strip off the condensed ions on the chain when it passes the pore. The total charges of condensed ions are hence decreased. The studies for the probability and density distributions reveal that the monomers in the trans-region are gathered near the wall and form a pancake-like density profile with a hump cloud over it in the strong fields, due to fast translocation.

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