Article

Translocation of a heterogeneous polymer

Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA.
The Journal of Chemical Physics (Impact Factor: 3.12). 08/2012; 137(6):064904. DOI: 10.1063/1.4742970
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We present results on the sequence dependence of translocation kinetics for a partially charged heteropolymer moving through a very thin pore using theoretical tools and Langevin dynamics simulational techniques. The chain is composed of two types of monomers of differing frictional interaction with the pore and charge. We present exact analytical expressions for passage probability, mean first passage time, and mean successful passage times for both reflecting/absorbing and absorbing/absorbing boundary conditions, showing rich and unexpected dependence of translocation behavior on charge fraction, distribution along the chain, and electric field configuration. We find excellent qualitative and good quantitative agreement between theoretical and simulation results. Surprisingly, there emerges a threshold charge fraction of a diblock copolymer beyond which the success rate of translocation is independent of charge fraction. Also, the mean successful translocation time of a diblock copolymer displays non-monotonic behavior with increasing length of the charged block; there is an optimum length of the charged block where the mean translocation rate is the slowest; and there can be a substantial range of higher charge fractions which make the translocation slower than even a minimally charged chain. Additionally, we find for a fixed total charge on the chain, finer distribution along the backbone significantly decreases mean translocation time.

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