819 research outputs found

    Collapse transitions of a periodic hydrophilic hydrophobic chain

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    We study a single self avoiding hydrophilic hydrophobic polymer chain, through Monte Carlo lattice simulations. The affinity of monomer ii for water is characterized by a (scalar) charge λi\lambda_{i}, and the monomer-water interaction is short-ranged. Assuming incompressibility yields an effective short ranged interaction between monomer pairs (i,j)(i,j), proportional to (λi+λj)(\lambda_i+\lambda_j). In this article, we take λi=+1\lambda_i=+1 (resp. (λi=1\lambda_i=- 1)) for hydrophilic (resp. hydrophobic) monomers and consider a chain with (i) an equal number of hydro-philic and -phobic monomers (ii) a periodic distribution of the λi\lambda_{i} along the chain, with periodicity 2p2p. The simulations are done for various chain lengths NN, in d=2d=2 (square lattice) and d=3d=3 (cubic lattice). There is a critical value pc(d,N)p_c(d,N) of the periodicity, which distinguishes between different low temperature structures. For p>pcp >p_c, the ground state corresponds to a macroscopic phase separation between a dense hydrophobic core and hydrophilic loops. For p<pcp <p_c (but not too small), one gets a microscopic (finite scale) phase separation, and the ground state corresponds to a chain or network of hydrophobic droplets, coated by hydrophilic monomers. We restrict our study to two extreme cases, pO(N)p \sim O(N) and pO(1)p\sim O(1) to illustrate the physics of the various phase transitions. A tentative variational approach is also presented.Comment: 21 pages, 17 eps figures, accepted for publication in Eur. Phys. J.

    Comment on " A simple model for DNA denaturation"

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    The replacment of mutual avoidance of polymers by a long-range interaction of the type proposed by Garel etal (Europhys. Lett. 55, 132 (2001), cond-mat/0101058) is inconsistent with the prevalent renormalization group arguments.Comment: 2 pages, Comment on Garel etal. Europhys. Lett 55, 132(2001) cond-mat/0101058. Appeared in Europhys Let

    Phase diagram of magnetic polymers

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    We consider polymers made of magnetic monomers (Ising or Heisenberg-like) in a good solvent. These polymers are modeled as self-avoiding walks on a cubic lattice, and the ferromagnetic interaction between the spins carried by the monomers is short-ranged in space. At low temperature, these polymers undergo a magnetic induced first order collapse transition, that we study at the mean field level. Contrasting with an ordinary Θ\Theta point, there is a strong jump in the polymer density, as well as in its magnetization. In the presence of a magnetic field, the collapse temperature increases, while the discontinuities decrease. Beyond a multicritical point, the transition becomes second order and Θ\Theta-like. Monte Carlo simulations for the Ising case are in qualitative agreement with these results.Comment: 29 pages, 15 eps figures (one color figure). Submitted for publication to Eur.Phys.J.

    Phase diagram of a semiflexible polymer chain in a θ\theta solvent: application to protein folding

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    We consider a lattice model of a semiflexible homopolymer chain in a bad solvent. Beside the temperature TT, this model is described by (i) a curvature energy εh\varepsilon_h, representing the stiffness of the chain (ii) a nearest-neighbour attractive energy εv\varepsilon_v, representing the solvent (iii) the monomer density ρ=NΩ\rho={N \over \Omega}, where NN and Ω\Omega denote respectively the number of monomers and the number of lattice sites. This model is a simplified view of the protein folding problem, which encompasses the geometrical competition between secondary structures (the curvature term modelling helix formation) and the global compactness (modeled here by the attractive energy), but contains no side chain information...Comment: 17 pages, plain tex, 2 figures available upon reques

    Random Hydrophilic-Hydrophobic Copolymers

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    We study a single statistical amphiphilic copolymer chain AB in a selective solvent (e.g.water). Two situations are considered. In the annealed case, hydrophilic (A) and hydrophobic (B) monomers are at local chemical equilibrium and both the fraction of A monomers and their location along the chain can vary, whereas in the quenched case (which is relevant to proteins), the chemical sequence along the chain is fixed by synthesis. In both cases, the physical behaviour depends on the average hydrophobicity of the polymer chain. For a strongly hydrophobic chain (large fraction of B), we find an ordinary continuous θ\theta collapse, with a large conformational entropy in the collapsed phase. For a weakly hydrophobic, or a hydrophilic chain, there is an unusual first-order collapse transition. In particular, for the case of Gaussian disorder, this discontinuous transition is driven by a change of sign of the third virial coefficient. The entropy of this collapsed phase is strongly reduced with respect to the θ\theta collapsed phase. Email contact: [email protected]: Saclay-T94/077 Email: [email protected]

    Overlap properties and adsorption transition of two Hamiltonian paths

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    We consider a model of two (fully) compact polymer chains, coupled through an attractive interaction. These compact chains are represented by Hamiltonian paths (HP), and the coupling favors the existence of common bonds between the chains. Using a (n=0n=0 component) spin representation for these paths, we show the existence of a phase transition for strong coupling (i.e. at low temperature) towards a ``frozen'' phase where one chain is completely adsorbed onto the other. By performing a Legendre transform, we obtain the probability distribution of overlaps. The fraction of common bonds between two HP, i.e. their overlap qq, has both lower (qmq_m) and upper (qMq_M) bounds. This means in particuliar that two HP with overlap greater than qMq_M coincide. These results may be of interest in (bio)polymers and in optimization problems.Comment: 13 pages, 2 figure