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Soft Matter. 2018 Oct 3;14(38):7926-7933. doi: 10.1039/c8sm01246f.

Relaxation of surface-tethered polymers under moderate confinement.

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Institute for Nano- and Microfluidics, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany.


We study the relaxation of surface-tethered polymers in microchannels under moderate confinement (i.e. h ∼ Rg, where h is the channel height and Rg is the radius of gyration of the polymer) by experiments with fluorescence-marked DNA molecules and coupled lattice-Boltzmann/molecular dynamics simulations. The determined scaling exponent suggests that the relaxation is dominated by Zimm-dynamics with significant intra-chain hydrodynamic interactions. The relaxation of the DNA molecules is slower in shallower channels, indicating a pronounced effect of confinement on the longest relaxation time. An experimental correlation is obtained for the longest relaxation time as a function of the molecular contour length and the channel height. Good agreement between the experimental and the simulation results is found.

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