Adsorption of single polymer molecules in shear flow near a planar wall

Sarit Dutta, Kevin D. Dorfman, Satish Kumar

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Adsorption of homopolymers from a dilute solution to a planar wall in the presence of shear flow is studied using a bead-spring dumbbell model. The bead-bead and bead-wall interactions are described by generalized Lennard-Jones potentials. A kinetic theory incorporating bead-wall hydrodynamic interaction is developed in order to obtain an analytical expression for the steady-state dumbbell concentration profile. The concentration profile exhibits an exclusion zone in the immediate vicinity of the wall, is followed by a peak, and finally approaches the bulk concentration far away from the wall. Using the analytical expression, the amount adsorbed and the equivalent film thickness are studied as a function of flow strength and the parameters characterizing the bead-wall interaction potential. Shear flow causes migration of the dumbbells due to bead-wall hydrodynamic interaction, which leads to desorption. On increasing the flow strength, the quantity adsorbed and the film thickness decrease until complete desorption occurs. The dependence of the flow strength required for desorption on the model parameters is also studied and a scaling law is derived for the strong-interaction limit. Brownian dynamics simulations are performed to verify the predictions from the kinetic theory. Although the theory makes a number of simplifying assumptions, it captures many of the key features seen in the simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034905
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 21 2013

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