3 years ago

Compression of Nanoslit Confined Polymer Solutions

Compression of Nanoslit Confined Polymer Solutions
Yue Qi, Ahmed Khorshid, Reghan J. Hill, Walter W. Reisner, Lili Zeng
Many systems of biophysical and technological interest consist of multiple interpenetrating chains in a confined volume, i.e., a confined polymer solution. Using nanofluidic approaches developed originally for the study of single chains in confined geometries, we develop an assay to create confined polymer solutions on-chip and then probe the solution response to applied compressive forcing. In our approach, multiple chains are introduced into a nanoslit via hydrodynamic flow and are then concentrated against a barrier that is permeable only to solvent. For sufficiently high concentration, the compressed solution profile can be described by a mean-field polymer model based on Doi’s two-fluid approach, with the chain free energy described by a Ginzburg-type free energy functional. This theory furnishes a partial differential equation based description of the concentration profile in terms of a nonlinear Schrödinger-type equation, providing a general theoretical framework for modeling confined polymer solution dynamics.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.7b01894

DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.7b01894

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