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Polymers 2017, 9(8), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9080327

Mechanical Pulling of Linked Ring Polymers: Elastic Response and Link Localisation

1
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Padova and sezione CNISM, Via Marzolo 8, I-35131 Padova, Italy
2
SISSA, International School for Advanced Studies, via Bonomea 265, I-34136 Trieste, Italy
3
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Padova and sezione INFN, Via Marzolo 8, I-35131 Padova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 27 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Knotted and Catenated Polymers)
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Abstract

By using Langevin dynamics simulations, we study how semiflexible rings that are topologically linked respond to mechanical stretching. We use both constant-force and constant-velocity pulling protocols and map out how the mechanical tension affects observables related to metric quantities such as the longitudinal extension or span, and topology-related ones such as the length of the linked portion. We find that the average extension of linked rings, once divided by that of a single equivalent ring, is nonmonotonic in the applied force. We show that this remarkable feature becomes more prominent as the link complexity is increased, and originates from the different stretching compliance of the linked portion and the rest of the rings’ contour. By comparing the results of different pulling protocols, we also establish the best one for telling apart different types of links from their tensile response. View Full-Text
Keywords: semiflexible rings; catenanes; topological links; linked portion; mechanical stretching semiflexible rings; catenanes; topological links; linked portion; mechanical stretching
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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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Caraglio, M.; Micheletti, C.; Orlandini, E. Mechanical Pulling of Linked Ring Polymers: Elastic Response and Link Localisation. Polymers 2017, 9, 327.

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