The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 225, Issue 8–9, pp 1683–1692 | Cite as

Simulations of stretching a flexible polyelectrolyte with varying charge separation

  • M.J. Stevens
  • O.A. Saleh
Regular Article Specific Models to Tackle Fundamental Questions
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Modern Simulation Approaches in Soft Matter Science: From Fundamental Understanding to Industrial Applications


We calculated the force-extension curves for a flexible polyelectrolyte chain with varying charge separations by performing Monte Carlo simulations of a 5000 bead chain using a screened Coulomb interaction. At all charge separations, the force-extension curves exhibit a Pincus-like scaling regime at intermediate forces and a logarithmic regime at large forces. As the charge separation increases, the Pincus regime shifts to a larger range of forces and the logarithmic regime starts are larger forces. We also found that force-extension curve for the corresponding neutral chain has a logarithmic regime. Decreasing the diameter of bead in the neutral chain simulations removed the logarithmic regime, and the force-extension curve tends to the freely jointed chain limit. This result shows that only excluded volume is required for the high force logarithmic regime to occur.


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences and Springer 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • M.J. Stevens
    • 1
  • O.A. Saleh
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, Sandia National LaboratoriesNew MexicoUSA
  2. 2.Materials Department and BMSE Program, University of CaliforniaCaliforniaUSA

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