How long does it take to pull an ideal polymer into a small hole?

A. Y. Grosberg 1, 2, S. Nechaev 1, 3, M. Tamm 1, 4, O. Vasilyev 3, 5

Physical Review Letters 96 (2006) 228105

We present scaling estimates for characteristic times $\tau_{\rm lin}$ and $\tau_{\rm br}$ of pulling ideal linear and randomly branched polymers of $N$ monomers into a small hole by a force $f$. We show that the absorbtion process develops as sequential straightening of folds of the initial polymer configuration. By estimating the typical size of the fold involved into the motion, we arrive at the following predictions: $\tau_{\rm lin}(N) \sim N^{3/2}/f$ and $\tau_{\rm br}(N) \sim N^{5/4}/f$, and we also confirm them by the molecular dynamics experiment.

  • 1. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud
  • 2. Department of Physics,
    University of Minnesota-Crookston
  • 3. L.D. Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics,
    Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics
  • 4. Physics Department,
    Moscow State University
  • 5. Centre de Recherche en Modélisation Moléculaire,
    Université de Mons-Hainaut