Wednesday, September 16 2020
11:30 - 13:00

IMSc Webinar

Transport Properties of Driven Confined Polyelectrolytes

Debarshee Bagchi

Center for Computation and Theory of Soft Materials Northwestern University Illinois, USA

The transport properties of an aqueous polyelectrolyte solution, driven by a constant electric field, and confined inside an oppositely charged nanochannel are studied. Using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations that include surface polarization effect, we find that the mobilities of the polyelectrolytes and their counterions change non-monotonically with the confinement surface charge density. For an optimum value of the confinement charge density, efficient electrophoretic separation of polyelectrolytes can be achieved over a wide range of polyelectrolyte lengths due to the differential friction imparted by the oppositely charged confinement on the polyelectrolyte chains. Furthermore, by altering the placement of the charged confinement counterions, we reveal intriguing transport features of the driven confined polyelectrolyte solution, that enable us to achieve enhanced electrophoretic separation by utilizing surface polarization effect due to dielectric mismatch between the media inside and outside the confinement. These results will be useful for better understanding the effects of confinement at nanoscale and the role of dielectric mismatch on the transport properties of charged soft-matter systems.

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