Volume 66, Number 5, June 2004
|763 - 769
|Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
|01 May 2004
Barrier crossing of semiflexible polymers
Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung 14424 Potsdam, Germany
Accepted: 5 April 2004
We consider the motion of semiflexible polymers in double-well potentials. We calculate shape, energy, and effective diffusion constant of kink excitations, and in particular their dependence on the bending rigidity of the semiflexible polymer. For symmetric potentials, the kink motion is purely diffusive, whereas kink motion becomes directed in the presence of a driving force on the polymer. We determine the average velocity of the semiflexible polymer based on the kink dynamics. The Kramers escape over the potential barriers proceeds by nucleation and diffusive motion of kink-antikink pairs, the relaxation to the straight configuration by annihilation of kink-antikink pairs. Our results apply to the activated motion of biopolymers such as DNA and actin filaments or synthetic polyelectrolytes on structured substrates.
PACS: 87.15.-v – Biomolecules: structure and physical properties / 87.15.He – Dynamics and conformational changes / 87.15.Tt – Electrophoresis
© EDP Sciences, 2004
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