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Open AccessArticle

Entropy-induced Separation of Binary Semiflexible Ring Polymer Mixtures in Spherical Confinement

1
Department of Physics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310027, China
2
Department of Physics, Wenzhou University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 1992; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11121992
Received: 5 November 2019 / Revised: 24 November 2019 / Accepted: 27 November 2019 / Published: 2 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure Formation and Dynamics of Semiflexible Macromolecules)
Coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations are used to investigate the conformations of binary semiflexible ring polymers (SRPs) of two different lengths confined in a hard sphere. Segregated structures of SRPs in binary mixtures are strongly dependent upon the number density of system (ρ), the bending energy of long SRPs (Kb, long), and the chain length ratio of long to short SRPs (α). With a low ρ or a weak Kb, long at a small ratio α, long SRPs are immersed randomly in the matrix of short SRPs. As ρ and bending energy of long SRPs (Kb, long) are increased up to a certain value for a large ratio α, a nearly complete segregation between long and short SRPs is observed, which can be further characterized by the ratio of tangential and radial components of long SRPs velocity. These explicit segregated structures of the two components in spherical confinement are induced by a delicate competition between the entropic excluded volume (depletion) effects and bending contributions.
Keywords: semiflexible ring polymers; segregation; bending energy; depletion effects; molecular dynamics semiflexible ring polymers; segregation; bending energy; depletion effects; molecular dynamics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhou, X.; Guo, F.; Li, K.; He, L.; Zhang, L. Entropy-induced Separation of Binary Semiflexible Ring Polymer Mixtures in Spherical Confinement. Polymers 2019, 11, 1992.

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