End-monomer dynamics in semiflexible polymers

TitleEnd-monomer dynamics in semiflexible polymers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsM Hinczewski, X Schlagberger, M Rubinstein, O Krichevsky, and RR Netz
Pagination860 - 875
Date Published01/2009

Spurred by an experimental controversy in the literature, we investigate the end-monomer dynamics of semiflexible polymers through Brownian hydrodynamic simulations and dynamic mean-field theory. Precise experimental observations over the last few years of end-monomer dynamics in the diffusion of double-stranded DNA have given conflicting results: one study indicated an unexpected Rouse-like scaling of the mean squared displacement (MSD) 〈r(2)(t)〉 t(1/2) at intermediate times, corresponding to fluctuations at length scales larger than the persistence length but smaller than the coil size; another study claimed the more conventional Zimm scaling 〈r(2)(t)〉 t(2/3) in the same time range. Using hydrodynamic simulations, analytical and scaling theories, we find a novel intermediate dynamical regime where the effective local exponent of the end-monomer MSD, α(t) = d log〈r(2)(t)〉/d log t, drops below the Zimm value of 2/3 for sufficiently long chains. The deviation from the Zimm prediction increases with chain length, though it does not reach the Rouse limit of 1/2. The qualitative features of this intermediate regime, found in simulations and in an improved mean-field theory for semiflexible polymers, in particular the variation of α(t) with chain and persistence lengths, can be reproduced through a heuristic scaling argument. Anomalously low values of the effective exponent α are explained by hydrodynamic effects related to the slow crossover from dynamics on length scales smaller than the persistence length to dynamics on larger length scales.

Short TitleMacromolecules