Conformational fluctuations of a tethered polymer in uniform flow
Institut für Festkörperforschung, Forschungszentrum Jülich, D-52425, Jülich, Germany
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The decay of correlations in the conformational fluctuations of a tethered polymer subjected to a uniform flow is analyzed in terms of relaxation times and associated normal modes. These quantities are calculated numerically from Brownian dynamics simulations of several bead spring polymer models. In this way, the influence of different effects like a finite extensibility of the springs and excluded-volume as well as hydrodynamic interactions between the beads on the decay of fluctuations is identified. Moreover, by comparison of the simulation results to analytically tractable blob models with corresponding assumptions, the capability of the tensile-blob picture to predict relaxation times and modes is assessed. For excluded-volume and hydrodynamic interactions a crossover to Rouse-like behavior occurs when the flow velocity and hence the polymer deformation exceeds a certain value. For finitely extensible springs, in contrast, the relaxation times decrease monotonically with increasing polymer deformation. This latter behavior differs from assumptions often used in rheological modeling by dumbbells and is not captured by the blob model.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2003