Interacting Living Polymers Confined between Two Surfaces

Nicolaas A. M. Besseling, Alexander V. Korobko
2013 Physical Review Letters  
We present predictions on the equilibrium behavior of solutions of living polymers confined in a gap between surfaces, including the ensuing potential of mean force between those surfaces (the disjoining potential). We highlight the occurrence of a transition upon narrowing the gap, which arises from a cooperative simultaneous increase of the local density and degree of polymerization. At this transition, many properties of the confined solution, including the disjoining potential, change by
more » ... ers of magnitude over a minute change of the surface separation. These results were obtained owing to two extensions to a previously introduced self-consistent field-propagator formalism. (i) We derive this formalism from a free-energy functional of the distribution of chain lengths and configurations. This enables evaluation of thermodynamic properties, including the disjoining potential. (ii) We solved for a system confined between two surfaces.
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.111.186103 pmid:24237542 fatcat:radlpf24ibcajdn5p2fn6lvde4