Volume 83, Number 3, August 2008
Article Number 38004
Number of page(s) 6
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 29 July 2008
EPL, 83 (2008) 38004
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/83/38004

Polyelectrolyte electrophoresis: Field effects and hydrodynamic interactions

S. Frank and R. G. Winkler

Institut für Festkörperforschung, Forschungszentrum Jülich - 52425 Jülich, German, EU

received 26 March 2008; accepted in final form 11 June 2008; published August 2008
published online 29 July 2008

The dynamical and conformational properties of short polyelectrolytes are studied in salt-free solution exposed to an external electric field taking hydrodynamic interactions into account by a mesoscale simulation technique. As a function of polymer length, we find a non-monotonic electrophoretic mobility, in agreement with experiments, and diffusion coefficients, which are well described by the expression of rodlike objects, both aspects reflect the importance of hydrodynamic interactions. Strong electric fields lead to particular polymer conformations, which are illustrated in a schematic diagram.

82.35.Rs - Polyelectrolytes.
87.15.Tt - Electrophoresis.
87.15.A- - Theory, modeling, and computer simulation.

© EPLA 2008