Forming a Double-Helix Phase of Single Polymer Chains by the Cooperation between Local Structure and Nonlocal Attraction

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Jiang Du
  • Hongmei Yin
  • Tiantian Wan
  • Binzhou Wang
  • Hongtao Qi
  • Yanfang Lu
  • Tao Chen

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number197801
Journal / PublicationPhysical Review Letters
Volume128
Issue number19
Online published9 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2022

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Abstract

Double-helix structures, such as DNA, are formed in nature to realize many unique functions. Inspired by this, researchers are pursuing strategies to design such structures from polymers. A key question is whether the double helix can be formed from the self-folding of a single polymer chain without specific interactions. Here, using Langevin dynamics simulation and theoretical analysis, we find that a stable double-helix phase can be achieved by the self-folding of single semiflexible polymers as a result of the cooperation between local structure and nonlocal attraction. The critical temperature of double-helix formation approximately follows Tcri ∼ ln(kθ) and Tcri ∼ ln(kτ), where kθ and kτ are the polymer bending and torsion stiffness, respectively. Furthermore, the double helix can exhibit major and minor grooves due to symmetric break for better packing. Our results provide a novel guide to the experimental design of the double helix.

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Citation Format(s)

Forming a Double-Helix Phase of Single Polymer Chains by the Cooperation between Local Structure and Nonlocal Attraction. / Du, Jiang; Yin, Hongmei; Zhu, Haoqi et al.
In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 128, No. 19, 197801, 13.05.2022.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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