Single polymer gating of channels under a solvent gradient

S. Nath*, D. P. Foster, D. Giri, Sanjay Kumar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the effect of a gradient of solvent quality on the coil-globule transition for a polymer in a narrow pore. A simple self-attracting, self-avoiding walk model of a polymer in solution shows that the variation in the strength of the interaction across the pore leads the system to go from one regime (good solvent) to the other (poor solvent) across the channel. This may be thought to be analogous to thermophoresis, where the polymer goes from the hot region to the cold region under the temperature gradient. The behavior of short chains is studied using exact enumeration while the behavior of long chains is studied using transfer matrix techniques. The distribution of the monomer density across the layer suggests that a gatelike effect can be created, with potential applications as a sensor.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054601
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number5
Early online date28 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2013


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