- Non-equilibrium dynamics of single polymer adsorption to solid surfaces
- Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter
- Volume | Issue number
- 21 | 24
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Theoretical Physics Amsterdam (ITFA)
The adsorption of polymers to surfaces is crucial for understanding many fundamental processes in nature. Recent experimental studies indicate that the adsorption dynamics is dominated by non-equilibrium effects. We investigate the adsorption of a single polymer of length N to a planar solid surface in the absence of hydrodynamic interactions. We find that for weak adsorption energies the adsorption timescales ~N(1+2v)/(1+v), where nu is the Flory exponent for the polymer. We argue that in this regime the single chain adsorption is closely related to a field-driven polymer translocation through narrow pores. Surprisingly, for high adsorption energies the adsorption time becomes longer, as it scales as ~N1+v, which is explained by strong stretching of the unadsorbed part of the polymer close to the adsorbing surface. These two dynamic regimes are separated by an energy scale that is characterized by non-equilibrium contributions during the adsorption process.
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