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Polymers 2016, 8(3), 73; doi:10.3390/polym8030073

Polyelectrolyte Threading through a Nanopore

Department of Engineering and System Science, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
Academic Editor: Christine Wandrey
Received: 23 January 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2016 / Accepted: 24 February 2016 / Published: 3 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Polyelectrolytes)
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Abstract

Threading charged polymers through a nanopore, driven by electric fields E, is investigated by means of Langevin dynamics simulations. The mean translocation time 〈 τ 〉 is shown to follow a scaling law Nα, and the exponent α increases monotonically from 1.16 (4) to 1.40 (3) with E. The result is double-checked by the calculation of mean square displacement of translocation coordinate, which asserts a scaling behavior tβ (for t near τ) with β complying with the relation αβ = 2. At a fixed chain length N, 〈τ〉 displayed a reciprocal scaling behavior E−1 in the weak and also in the strong fields, connected by a transition E−1.64(5) 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyelectrolyte; translocation; scaling behavior; conformation; probability distribution; density distribution; ion condensation; molecular simulations polyelectrolyte; translocation; scaling behavior; conformation; probability distribution; density distribution; ion condensation; molecular simulations
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hsiao, P.-Y. Polyelectrolyte Threading through a Nanopore. Polymers 2016, 8, 73.

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