Molecular conformations of dumbbell-shaped polymers in good solvent

K Haydukivska and V Blavatska and J Paturej, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 108, 034502 (2023).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.108.034502

We study conformational properties of diluted dumbbell polymers composed of two rings attached to both ends of a linear spacer segment. Our investigation involves analytical methods of field theory and bead- spring coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. We focus on the influence of the relative length of the spacer segment to the length of side rings on the shape and the relative size of dumbbells as compared to linear polymers of equal mass. We find that dumbbells with short spacers exhibit a significantly more compact structure than linear polymers. Conversely, as the spacer length increases, the influence of the side rings on the size of the dumbbells becomes negligible. Consequently, dumbbell molecules with long spacers attain a size comparable to corresponding linear chains. Our analytical theory accurately predicts a quantitative conformational crossover between the behaviors of short-spacer and long-spacer dumbbells, which is further confirmed by our numerical simulations.

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