(455c) Investigating Polymer Relaxation in Nanochannels and Nanoslits
AIChE Annual Meeting
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 9:06am to 9:24am
We investigate polymer relaxation in nanoslits and nanochannels with the lattice Boltzmann-Brownian dynamics (LB-BD) method. Classical theories of deGennes and Odijk predict a transition of polymer properties as the confinement height H becomes smaller than the polymer persistence length, at which the confinement strongly affects the stiffness and restricts the conformational entropy of a semi-flexible polymer such as DNA. With LB-BD, the stretch relaxation time and fluctuation correlation decay time (tr) are measured in nano-confinements of height H, from H larger than the polymer radius of gyration Rg to smaller than the polymer persistence length P. A clear transition in tr is observed for chains in nanochannels. tr is found to have a non-monotonic dependence on H, as found in previous experimental observations . In contrast, a clear transition is not observed for chains in nanoslits [2,3]. The difference between nanoslits and nanochannels may be attributed to the confinement-induced changes on chain relaxation mechanisms. Hydrodynamic interactions are found to influence the chain relaxation time, even in confinement smaller than P.
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