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The Physics of semiflexible polymer chains

Thursday, June 2, 2016 10:30 AM;

JGU Mainz, Physics, Newton-Raum

Speaker: Jeff Chen; Department of Physics, University of Waterloo, CA

We present a summary of the current understanding in formulating a calculation for the free energy and phase diagram through a single-chain Green's function theory and multi-chain self-consistent field theory. The wormlike-chain formalism has the capability to capture physical features in a length scale smaller than the persistence length and in a length scale larger than its total chain length. It also builds the orientational dependence in the foundation of the formalism, which can be used to describe the coupled orientational and positional dependencies of many polymer problems. It has the advantage over a typical Gaussian-chain formalism for description of the physical properties where these features are the main concerns. However, the mathematical treatment of a wormlike-chain model is much more complicated than that of a Gaussian-chain model, due to the coupling between the orientational and positional degrees of freedom. It is this coupling that gives rise to physical features that are unique in semiflexible-chain systems. Example applications of the theoretical framework are also described here, for calculating the free energy and conformational properties of a confined long wormlike chain, for describing the orientational defect structures of confined liquid crystals, and for demonstrating the orientation-induced surface wetting phenomenon.


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