Discontinuous molecular dynamics simulation study of polymer collapse

Opps, Sheldon B.; Polson, James M.; Risk, Nick Abou
November 2006
Journal of Chemical Physics;11/21/2006, Vol. 125 Issue 19, p194904
Academic Journal
Discontinuous molecular dynamics simulations were used to study the coil-globule transition of a polymer in an explicit solvent. Two different versions of the model were employed, which are differentiated by the nature of monomer-solvent, solvent-solvent, and nonbonded monomer-monomer interactions. For each case, a model parameter λ determines the degree of hydrophobicity of the monomers by controlling the degree of energy mismatch between the monomers and solvent particles. We consider a λ-driven coil-globule transition at constant temperature. The simulations are used to calculate average static structure factors, which are then used to determine the scaling exponents of the system in order to determine the θ-point values λθ separating the coil from the globule state. For each model we construct coil-globule phase diagrams in terms of λ and the particle density ρ. Additionally, we explore for each model the effects of varying the range of the attractive interactions on the phase boundary separating the coil and globule phases. The results are analyzed in terms of a simple Flory-type theory of the collapse transition.


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