Narges Nikoofard

PhD of Physics
PhD of Physics, Soft Matter
University of Kashan · Nano-computation Group

Publications

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    Narges Nikoofard, Hamidreza Khalilian, Hossein Fazli
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    ABSTRACT: Translocation of a flexible polymer through a cone-shaped channel is studied, theoretically and using computer simulations. Our simulations show that the shape of the channel causes the polymer translocation to be a driven process. The effective driving force of entropic origin acting on the polymer is calculated as a function of the length and the apex-angle of the channel, theoretically. It is found that the translocation time is a non-monotonic function of the apex-angle of the channel. By increasing the apex-angle from zero, the translocation time shows a minimum and then a maximum. Also, it is found that regardless of the value of the apex-angle, the translocation time is a uniformly decreasing function of the channel length. The results of the theory and the simulation are in good qualitative agreement.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 08/2013; 139(7):074901. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The distribution of counterions and the electrostatic interaction between two similarly charged dielectric slabs is studied in the strong coupling limit. Dielectric inhomogeneities and discreteness of charge on the slabs have been taken into account. It is found that the amount of dielectric constant difference between the slabs and the environment, and the discreteness of charge on the slabs have opposing effects on the equilibrium distribution of the counterions. At small inter-slab separations, increasing the amount of dielectric constant difference increases the tendency of the counterions toward the middle of the intersurface space between the slabs and the discreteness of charge pushes them to the surfaces of the slabs. In the limit of point charges, independent of the strength of dielectric inhomogeneity, counterions distribute near the surfaces of the slabs. The interaction between the slabs is attractive at low temperatures and its strength increases with the dielectric constant difference. At room temperature, the slabs may completely attract each other, reach to an equilibrium separation or have two equilibrium separations with a barrier in between, depending on the system parameters.
    Physical review. E, Statistical physics, plasmas, fluids, and related interdisciplinary topics 11/2012; 85(6).
  • Narges Nikoofard, Hamidreza Khalilian, Hossein Fazli
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    ABSTRACT: Entropy-driven directed translocation of a flexible polymer through a cone-shaped channel is studied theoretically and using computer simulation. For a given length of the channel, the effective force of entropic origin acting on the polymer is calculated as a function of the apex angle of the channel. It is found that the translocation time is a non-monotonic function of the apex angle. By increasing the apex angle from zero, the translocation time shows a minimum and then a maximum. Also, it is found that regardless of the value of the apex angle, the translocation time is a uniformly decreasing function of the channel length. The results of the theory and the simulation are in good qualitative agreement.
    11/2012;
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    Narges Nikoofard, Hossein Fazli
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    ABSTRACT: The electric-field-driven entry process of flexible charged polymers such as single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) into asymmetric nanoscale channels such as the α-hemolysin protein channel is studied theoretically and using molecular dynamics simulations. Dependence of the height of the free-energy barrier on the polymer length, the strength of the applied electric field, and the channel entrance geometry is investigated. It is shown that the squeezing effect of the driving field on the polymer and the lateral confinement of the polymer before its entry to the channel crucially affect the barrier height and its dependence on the system parameters. The attempt frequency of the polymer for passing the channel is also discussed. Our theoretical and simulation results support each other and describe related data sets of polymer translocation experiments through the α-hemolysin protein channel reasonably well.
    Physical Review E 02/2012; 85(2 Pt 1):021804. · 2.31 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Narges Nikoofard, Hossein Fazli
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    ABSTRACT: Free-energy barrier for entry of a charged polymer into a nanoscale channel by a driving electric field is studied theoretically and using molecular dynamics simulations. Dependence of the barrier height on the polymer length, the driving field strength, and the channel entrance geometry is investigated. Squeezing effect of the electric field on the polymer before its entry to the channel is taken into account. It is shown that lateral confinement of the polymer prior to its entry changes the polymer length dependence of the barrier height noticeably. Our theory and simulation results are in good agreement and reasonably describe related experimental data.
    Physical Review E 05/2011; 83(5 Pt 1):050801. · 2.31 Impact Factor

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