Volume 46, Number 3, May I 1999
|Page(s)||301 - 306|
|Published online||01 September 2002|
A variational approach to the localization transition of heteropolymers at interfaces
International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA)
and Istituto Nazionale di Fisica della Materia,
Via Beirut 2-4, 34014 Trieste, Italy
The Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics,
Strada Costiera 11, 34100 Trieste, Italy
Accepted: 17 February 1999
A chain with random hydrophobic-hydrophilic charges is studied in the presence of an interface separating a polar from a non-polar solvent. Within a Gaussian variational approach in replica space, a transition is found, from a high-temperature region, where the chain is delocalized, to a low-temperature region, where the chain is localized at the interface. The transition temperature diverges as the neutrality of the chain is approached. Our results are in agreement with an Imry-Ma type argument by Garel et al. (Europhys. Lett., 8 (1989) 9). The problem of replica symmetry breaking is also addressed, and the replica-symmetric solution is found to be unstable.
PACS: 05.40.Jc – Brownian motion / 36.20.-r – Macromolecules and polymer molecules / 87.15.-v – Biomolecules: structure and physical properties
© EDP Sciences, 1999
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