The transport of polyelectrolytes confined by oppositely charged surfaces and driven by a constant electric field is of interest in studies of DNA separation according to size. Using molecular dynamics simulations that include the 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 separation of polyelectrolytes can be achieved over a wide range of polyelectrolyte charge due to the differential friction imparted by oppositely charged confinement on the polyelectrolyte chains. Furthermore, by altering the placement of the charged confinement counterions, enhanced polyelectrolyte separation can be achieved by utilizing the surface polarization effect due to dielectric mismatch between the media inside and outside the confinement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry