Unexpected relaxation dynamics of a self-avoiding polymer in cylindrical confinement
J. Chem. Phys. , Volume 127 - Issue 16, Article number: 164903 p. 1- 9
We report extensive simulations of the relaxation dynamics of a self-avoiding polymer confined inside a cylindrical pore. In particular, we concentrate on examining how confinement influences the scaling behavior of the global relaxation time of the chain, tau, with the chain length N and pore diameter D. An earlier scaling analysis based on the de Gennes blob picture led to tau~N2D1/3. Our numerical effort that combines molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations, however, consistently produces different tau results for N up to 2000. We argue that the previous scaling prediction is only asymptotically valid in the limit N>>D5/3>>1, which is currently inaccessible to computer simulations and, more interestingly, is also difficult to reach in experiments. Our results are thus relevant for the interpretation of recent experiments with DNA in nano- and microchannels.