Emergence of secondary motifs in tubelike polymers in a solvent

Chiara Poletto, Achille Giacometti, Antonio Trovato, Jayanth R. Banavar, and Amos Maritan
Phys. Rev. E 77, 061804 – Published 18 June 2008


We study the effects of two kinds of interactions in tubelike polymers and demonstrate that they result in the formation of secondary motifs. The first has an entropic origin and is a measure of the effective space available to the solvent. The second arises from solvophobic interactions of the solvent with the polymers and leads to an energy proportional to the contact surface between the tube and solvent particles. The solvent molecules are modeled as hard spheres and the two interactions are considered separately with the solvent density affecting their relative strength. In addition to analytical calculations, we present the results of numerical simulations in order to understand the role played by the finite length of short polymers and the discrete versus continuum descriptions of the system in determining the preferred conformation.

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  • Received 7 December 2007


©2008 American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Chiara Poletto1, Achille Giacometti2, Antonio Trovato1,3, Jayanth R. Banavar4, and Amos Maritan1,3,5

  • 1Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Padova, via Marzolo 8 I-35131 Padova
  • 2Dipartimento di Chimica Fisica, Università di Venezia, Calle Larga S. Marta DD 2137, I-30123 Venezia, Italy
  • 3CNISM, Unità di Padova, Via Marzolo 8, I-35131 Padova, Italy
  • 4Department of Physics, 104 Davey Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA
  • 5Sezione INFN, Università di Padova, I-35131 Padova, Italy

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Vol. 77, Iss. 6 — June 2008

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