Europhys. Lett.
Volume 72, Number 6, December 2005
Page(s) 922 - 928
Section Atomic and molecular physics
Published online 11 November 2005
Europhys. Lett., 72 (6), pp. 922-928 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10328-3

Optimal confinement for internal polymer binding

N. K. Lee1, 2, C. F. Abrams3 and A. Johner2, 4

1  Department of Physics, Institute of Fundamental Physics, Sejong University Seoul 143-743, South Korea
2  Institut Charles Sadron (CNRS-ULP) - 67083 Strasbourg Cedex, France
3  Department of Chemical Engineering, Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA
4  Laboratoire Européen Associé ICS (Strasbourg, France)/MPIP (Mainz, Germany)

received 22 March 2005; accepted in final form 10 October 2005
published online 11 November 2005

Internal binding between specific groups dilute along a polymer chain plays a paramount role in many technological and biological systems. Against common intuition, we show that the interplay between excluded-volume correlations and hydrodynamic interactions can produce an optimal confinement where the binding is fastest. Similarly, there is an optimal osmotic pressure for the binding rate of a chain immersed in a solution of (non-binding) spectator chains. When internal binding leads to higher-order vertices as in self-assembly, confinement can set the same kinetic rate for the formation of several low-order vertices.

36.20.-r - Macromolecules and polymer molecules.
34.50.Lf - Chemical reactions, energy disposal, and angular distribution, as studied by atomic and molecular beams.

© EDP Sciences 2005