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Title

Architecture-induced size asymmetry and effective interactions of ring polymers: Simulation and theory

AuthorsNarros, Arturo; Moreno Segurado, Ángel J. ; Likos, Christos N.
Issue Date2013
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
CitationMacromolecules 46(23): 9437-9445 (2013)
AbstractWe investigate, by means of Monte Carlo simulations, the role of ring architecture and topology on the relative sizes of two interacting polymers as a function of the distance between their centers-of-mass. As a general rule, polymers swell as they approach each other, irrespectively of their topologies. For each mutual separation, two identical linear polymers adopt the same average size. However, unknotted rings at close separations adopt different sizes, with the small one being >nested> within the large one over long time intervals, exchanging their roles in the course of the simulation. For two rings of different architectures and identical polymerization degree, the knotted one is always smaller, penetrating the unknotted one. On the basis of these observations, we propose a phenomenological theory for the effective interactions between rings, modeling them as unequal-sized penetrable spheres. This simple approximation provides a good description of the simulation results. In particular, it rationalizes the non-Gaussian shape and the short-distance plateau observed in the effective potential between unknotted ring polymers and pairs of unequal-sized unknotted/knotted ones. Our results demonstrate the crucial role of the architecture on both the effective interactions and the molecular size for strongly interpenetrating polymers. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ma4016483
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/102318
DOI10.1021/ma4016483
Identifiersdoi: 10.1021/ma4016483
issn: 0024-9297
e-issn: 1520-5835
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