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Open AccessArticle

Polymer Translocation Across a Corrugated Channel: Fick–Jacobs Approximation Extended Beyond the Mean First-Passage Time

Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme, Heisenbergstr. 3, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
IV. Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 57, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique Théorique de la Matière Condensée, LPTMC (UMR CNRS 7600), 4 Place Jussieu, CEDEX 05, 75252 Paris, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 251;
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 25 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Translocation)
Polymer translocation across a corrugated channel is a paradigmatic stochastic process encountered in diverse systems. The instance of time when a polymer first arrives to some prescribed location defines an important characteristic time-scale for various phenomena, which are triggered or controlled by such an event. Here we discuss the translocation dynamics of a Gaussian polymer in a periodically-corrugated channel using an appropriately generalized Fick–Jacobs approach. Our main aim is to probe an effective broadness of the first-passage time distribution (FPTD), by determining the so-called coefficient of variation γ of the FPTD, defined as the ratio of the standard deviation versus the mean first-passage time (MFPT). We present a systematic analysis of γ as a function of a variety of system’s parameters. We show that γ never significantly drops below 1 and, in fact, can attain very large values, implying that the MFPT alone cannot characterize the first-passage statistics of the translocation process exhaustively well. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer translocation; first-passage time; entropic barrier polymer translocation; first-passage time; entropic barrier
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Malgaretti, P.; Oshanin, G. Polymer Translocation Across a Corrugated Channel: Fick–Jacobs Approximation Extended Beyond the Mean First-Passage Time. Polymers 2019, 11, 251.

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