Volume 85, Number 6, March 2009
Article Number 63001
Number of page(s) 5
Section Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Published online 01 April 2009
EPL, 85 (2009) 63001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/85/63001

Ribbon polymers in poor solvents: Layering transitions in annular and tubular condensates

Y. Y. Suzuki1, 2 and D. R. M. Williams3

1   Institut de Physique Théorique, CEA - IPhT, CNRS, URA 2306 - F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France, EU
2   Faculty of Engineering, Takushoku University - Hachioji, Tokyo 193-0985, Japan
3   Research School of Physical Sciences, Australian National University - Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia

received 4 November 2008; accepted in final form 23 February 2009; published March 2009
published online 1 April 2009

We study the structures of a ribbon or ladder polymer immersed in poor solvents. The anisotropic bending rigidity coupled with the surface tension leads ribbon polymers to spontaneous formation of highly anisotropic condensates in poor solvents. Unlike ordinary flexible polymers these condensates undergo a number of distinct layering transitions as a function of chain length or solvent quality, and the size of condensates becomes a non-monotonic function of chain length. We show that the fluctuations of the condensates are in general small and these condensates are stable.

36.20.Ey - Conformation (statistics and dynamics).
64.70.Nd - Structural transitions in nanoscale materials. - Analytical theories.

© EPLA 2009