Conformation Change, Tension Propagation and Drift-Diffusion Properties of Polyelectrolyte in Nanopore Translocation

PY Hsiao, POLYMERS, 8, 378 (2016).

DOI: 10.3390/polym8100378

Using Langevin dynamics simulations, conformational, mechanical and dynamical properties of charged polymers threading through a nanopore are investigated. The shape descriptors display different variation behaviors for the cis-and trans-side sub-chains, which reflects a strong cis-trans dynamical asymmetry, especially when the driving field is strong. The calculation of bond stretching shows how the bond tension propagates on the chain backbone, and the chain section straightened by the tension force is determined by the ratio of the direct to the contour distances of the monomer to the pore. With the study of the waiting time function, the threading process is divided into the tension-propagation stage and the tail-retraction stage. At the end, the drift velocity, diffusive property and probability density distribution are explored. Owing to the non-equilibrium nature, translocation is not a simple drift-diffusion process, but exhibits several intermediate behaviors, such as ballistic motion, normal diffusion and super diffusion, before ending with the last, negative-diffusion behavior.

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