Molecular-dynamics simulations with explicit hydrodynamics I: On the friction coefficients of deformed polymers
Department of Physics, University of Ottawa, 150 Louis-Pasteur, K1N 6N5, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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Published online: 2 June 2004
We implement large-scale Molecular-Dynamics (MD) simulations which incorporate hydrodynamic interactions via the inclusion of explicit Lennard-Jones solvent to examine the behaviour of polymer chains in sieving media. We begin by examining the friction coefficients of polymers in long-lived states responsible for inducing length-dependent mobility, i.e., allowing separation of polymers (or polyelectrolytes) by molecular weight. In particular, the conformations we examine occur in devices which utilize arrays of molecular obstacles or dilute solutions of polymers. We compare the results from our MD simulations with expressions from macroscopic hydrodynamics for four specific cases: i) a random coil excluded-volume Zimm polymer, ii) a rigid polymer moving perpendicular to its major axis iii) a rigid polymer moving parallel to its major axis and iv) a rigid polymer, folded at different points along its contour. We also examine the behaviour of the friction coefficient of a fully flexible molecule pulled by its middle monomer as a function of an applied force F and show that there are several distinct frictional regimes.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2004