Volume 83, Number 3, August 2008
Article Number 34007
Number of page(s) 6
Section Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics
Published online 28 July 2008
EPL, 83 (2008) 34007
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/83/34007

Mesoscale simulations of polymer dynamics in microchannel flows

L. Cannavacciuolo, R. G. Winkler and G. Gompper

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

received 29 November 2007; accepted in final form 11 June 2008; published August 2008
published online 28 July 2008

The non-equilibrium structural and dynamical properties of flexible polymers confined in a square microchannel and exposed to a Poiseuille flow are investigated by mesoscale simulations. The chain length and the flow strength are systematically varied. Two transport regimes are identified, corresponding to weak and strong confinement. For strong confinement, the transport properties are independent of the polymer length. For weak confinement or sufficiently strong flow and far from the channel center, the local stretching is similar to that of a polymer in simple shear flow, but in the central part the polymer exhibits a different behavior. The analysis of the long-time tumbling dynamics of short polymers yields a non-periodic motion with a sublinear dependence on the flow strength.

47.61.-k - Micro- and nano- scale flow phenomena.
47.57.Ng - Polymers and polymer solutions.
82.20.Wt - Computational modelling; simulation.

© EPLA 2008