Scaling behavior for the detachment of a self-propelling filament from an attractive surface

GQ Feng and WD Tian, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 158, 164901 (2023).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0145868

Desorption of a self-propelling filament from an attractive surface is studied by computer simulations and the influence of activity, chain length, and chain rigidity is explored. For the flexible filament, we find three scaling regimes of desorption time vs activity with various scaling exponents. At low activity, the scaling law results from the spiral-like detachment kinetics. And at high activity, by theoretical analysis, the desorption is reminiscent of the escaping mechanism of a super-diffusive blob from a potential well at a short time scale. Additionally, the desorption time decreases first and then increases with chain length at low activity, since it is hard to form a spiral for short filaments due to the limited volume repulsion. For high activities, the desorption time approximately scales with chain length, with a scaling exponent similar to 0.5, which can be explained by the theory and numerically fitting scaling law between the end-to-end distance of the "globule-like" filament and chain length. Furthermore, a non-monotonic behavior is observed between the desorption time and the chain stiffness. Desorption time slightly decreases first and then rapidly increases with stiffness due to the opposed effects of increasing rigidity on headiing-up time and leaving-away time. In contrast to traditional polymers, the scaling behavior suggests unique desorption characteristics of active polymers.

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